Impact Of Terrorism On Tourism In Asia Pacific: A Study


Tourism is a significant contributor to the economy of many countries. According to the Romagnoli (2016), tourism represents up to 10% of the global GDP. Overall, tourism has many benefits including but not limited to building government charge income, reducing joblessness, and improving the income. As such, tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world at an average rate of 4.6 percent per annum (Ahlfeldt et al., 2015). Concomitantly, the tourism industry is susceptible to environmental shocks like terror attacks, and the incidences of infectious diseases shaping the risk perception of tourists about the destination countries (Walden, 2017). Owing to the background of terror attacks like the 9/11 whereby more than 3000 people perished and changed the outlook of terrorism, and the series of terror attacks since the new millennium, studies on the implications of terrorism on tourism are warranted.  According to Chheang (2013) studies on the effect of terrorism on tourism had been studied even before the 9/1 tragedy.

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Countries in the Asia Pacific region are characterised by diverse histories, cultures, economic and political systems. The culture, politics and economic landscapes in this region are basically shaped by Indian, Chinese, and European sources. Since the end of the Cold War, there has been regional integration and cooperation between the 46 Countries forming the Asia Pacific (Chheang, 2013). Accordingly, tourism has been one of the major contributors  to building unity within diversity given the multiple channels of communication (IPK International , 2016).

This project proposes to examine the impact of terrorism on tourism in the Asia Pacific. Further, it addresses the issues of regionalism in the Asia Pacific and elaborates the impact of terrorism on international tourism. Moreover, the study will attempt to develop and contribute to the  existing studies on regionalism and tourism development amid the environmental shocks.

Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, but oppression based on fear has been increasing relentlessly in recent years due to increased incidence of terrorism. Since 1985, the scale of psychological oppressor assaults has increased, and traveling is also slower; nonetheless, oppressor assaults have become more rampant, and travelers have adjusted their movements as fear takes the place of protection (Lennon & O’Leary, 2005). Several occurrences have impacted tourism negatively and movement of people in the Asia Pacific region in previous decades among them the September 11, 2001 terror attack in New York, the 2002 bombing in Bali, the war in Iraq, and the natural calamities such as the earthquakes in China, Hurricanes in the United States, and the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. These incidences affected the perceptions of travelers more so in neighboring countries as well as those from the global tourism arena.

Research Questions

Similarly, the psychological effect on the local people affects their productivity ultimately impacting on the nation’s economy in the form of a diminishing GDP. In addition, the reduction in the foreign direct investment (FDI) is among the sources of increased financial costs associated with fear trading.  Lee (2016) asserts that FDI entails buying enough stock in an external company to gain administrative control. As indicated by Drakos and Kutan (2003), psychological effects can cause harm to the tourism industry by reducing the number of international visitors, and a later introduction of oppressor assault based on fear can equally prompt a significant reduction in the FDI. Economics specialists argue that a higher incidence of psychological oppression can lead to decrease interest in investing in regions that are characterized by fear trading (Enders & Sandler , 1996; Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 2017). Therefore, an increase in the level of fear among international travelers can cite increased danger and psychological assault which can impact the image and destabilize the foundations of the nation. Social communities are directly affected by implications of fear trading (Din et al., 2015; Ajogbeje et al., 2017). Finally, negative psychological effects can lead to the decline of businesses in the tourism industry.       

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The aim of the project is to understand the impact of terrorism on the tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. Particularly, the research will seek to examine the implications of the psychological effect (herein referred to as psychological warfare) on the tourism business. Hardly any investigation has been completed successfully to reveal the understanding on the real implications of fear-based oppression on tourism including the important issues, results, and the lessons learned as well as the reaction of businesses in the tourism industry.   

The primary objective of the study is to explore the impact of terrorism on tourism in the region of Asia Pacific. The secondary objective is to find out the implications of terrorism on tourism within the country of occurrence and on the international tourists in the region of Asia Pacific.

Tourists often feel scared of traveling to destinations considered to be high-risk areas. The perception of fear and the refusal to travel to such areas can have serious implications on the economies of the affected areas (Buigut et al., 2017). The impact is largely felt in the multiple destinations where tourism is a significant contributor to the nation’s economy as it generates most of the income. The Asia Pacific region has member states that are categorized under third world countries with tourism being their largest source of revenue (Wilks & Moore, 2014). For instance, Thailand recently placed a curfew across the nation following the establishment of martial laws. However, the curfew had to be lifted in several areas considered to be high tourist destination zones such as Kho Samui, Phuket, and Pattaya. This followed the increase in complaints from business owners who were crying foul from the decline of the tourism industry. The amount of time taken was little before the tourism industry could feel the impact of political conflicts in the country. However, the importance of tourism to the economy of Thailand led to the withdrawal of the curfew in areas of tourist destinations (Carvalho, 2017).

Literature Review

This paper proposes to research with the help of an extensive literature review to inform the study. The findings of the study are expected to provide strategies that can be adopted by businesses in the tourism industry to stay afloat in a world marred with natural and human-made shocks that impact human psychology and national economy.  Therefore, this research proposal offers the following benefits:

  • The research will help the general public to understand the relationship between terrorism and tourism.  More, those interested will also take into account the implication of terrorism on people and the economy.
  • This proposal will be of benefit to scholars who seek to broaden their knowledge and understanding of how terrorism and fear may shape the economy of a country.  
  • Business owners and managers can take advantage of the information provided in this project to fight psychological warfare as this proposal will assist them in identifying the correct areas of focus during and after a terror attack or other causes of economic instability such as wars. However, the information in this proposal does not guarantee a particular strategy to be employed in the reaction to shocks.
  • Further, the findings of the proposal will be of significance to policymakers in the formulation of laws regarding terror attacks and tourism.
  • Finally, business startups may find this proposal useful in comprehending the causes, effect, and implications of terrorism on tourism and hospitality. As a result, new ventures will be better prepared to proactively respond to incidences that would cause fear and psychological warfare.

The outcome of the project will offer insight into the impact of terrorism on the tourism industry especially for the nations in the Asia Pacific regions which would help in the development of survival strategies during unpredicted tragic events that would cause economic decline. Though the impact of terrorism would be different for every industry, the research will still be beneficial in understanding and illustrate the general outlook of terror conditions. The adaptation of businesses in the tourism industry during such events is reliant upon many variables such as resource availability, and external factors like government policy and psychological warfare.  These variables will affect the final output of the project. The objectives and the research questions outlined in this proposal will be covered through the collection of information, the analysis of data, and the establishment of the findings. These potential outputs of the research will be important sources of learning for the research problem identified in the project proposal. This project will be equally important to future investors who would like to venture into the tourism and hospitality industries.

The conceptual framework developed explores the effect of terrorism (IV) on the tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region (DV). Terrorism is capable of terrorizing the tourism industry (Ranga & Pradhan, 2014).  However, this proposal opines that the impact of terrorism on tourism does not only affect the perspectives of the travellers but also the businesses that are aligned to the tourism industry. Such businesses include those in the hospitality industry, among others. Thus, terrorism is the independent variable and its implication on the dependent variables (tourism and related business) will be researched. From the conceptual framework, it is hypothesized that terrorism has a significant impact on tourism and related businesses in the Asia Pacific.

Literature Review

The magnitude of the negative impact of fear on tourism in the countries making up the Asia Pacific region will be tested using information acquired regarding the chances and level of psychological oppression, FDI, GDP and travel measurements. The data will be collected from five nations and a traversing period of five years.  The distinct nations will include India, Australia, Indonesia, Fiji and Bangladesh. These countries were selected because of their proximity and accessibility and the gross domestic product.


The research will thus employ a qualitative approach in which secondary resources with relevant material relating to eh topic of the study. Information about the GDP and the FDI will be gathered from the World Bank and travel insights, like the value representing sightseers and the volume of flights originating from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The philosophy of positivism will be employed, and deductive approach will be used to facilitate the deduction of key concerns and to identify emerging themes from the analysis of data (Saunders et al., 2015).

Sampling and Sample Size

The researcher in this proposal will employ the purposive sampling to identify the resources and materials to be used in the review of the literature and the collection of secondary data to be used in the study.  The research will run a combination of the keywords to identify the most relevant sources of information from various databases. The study will choose a sample of 20 published and unpublished sources of data to inform the study. As such, non-probability sampling technique will be employed in the study as information will be collected from secondary resource about terror attacks and its implications on the socio-economic aspects of life (Ranga & Pradhan, 2014).  

Variables of the Study

The objective of this research is to explain the relationship between terrorism and tourism. The proposal expects to find a positive relationship. Thus, the dependent variable is tourism and the independent variable is terrorism. This proposal is a qualitative analysis.

Secondary Data

Secondary data is defined as data collected from sources other than the primary source of data (Bryman & Bell, 2015).  Bryman and Bell (2015) assert that secondary data is information collected for the purpose of another research other than for the current project. Further, Peck et al. (2015)  suggested that using the primary data of another reasercher by a differetn researcher or scholar would imply that the data is no longer primary but rather secondary data. The proposal uses secondary data sources including published articles, reports, journals, books, Websites and other internet sources. The proposal adopts secondary data from keywords searches and combinations like terrorism, Asia Pacific region tourists, the socio-economic impact of terrorism, and terror attacks in Asia Pacific, et cetera. By reviewing the secondary information the current study determined that it would be most appropriate to use a qualitative approach.

Data Analysis

Data analysis refers to the method used in transforming raw data into conclusive information to make deductions or inferences (Zikmund et al., 2013).  The data to be gathered is dependent on the objective of the study. The primary goal of data analysis is to create a supporting base of the argument supporting the aim of the project and to arrive at a decisive conclusion for the research. As such, the researcher shall identify the common themes in the data using content analysis. The themes will be classified into categories identified during open and axial coding procedures.

Sampling and Sample Size

Data analysis is considered to be the most important phase of this proposal and shall require the most time as raw data has to be carefully transformed into meaningful information that will be interpreted to inform future decision-making processes.  The qualitative data in this proposal shall be presented as a definitive because of its secondary nature.


Terrorism has significant implications for the tourism industry, and it is therefore important for governments in the Asia Pacific region to develop and adopt appropriate strategies to improve the levels of security to recover the confidence of travelers.  Since the perception of risk affects the decision of tourists, security measures should be able to convince the tourists of their safety against the perceived risk. Moreover, countries can enhance their brand outlook to improve their level of tourists’ attractions implying that tourism organizations within Asia Pacific countries should utilize the media reactively to promote the level of confidence among travellers. Consequently, the primary purpose of future research should focus on mitigating the effect of negative media coverage and promote the Asia Pacific as a secure and fulfilling destination for travelers. Media inclusion is vital in influencing the decision of the tourists and governments should launch promotional campaigns at the international level. At the same time, it is also critical to strengthen business operations in the tourism industry and resist the shock of recent terror attacks (Wilks & Moore, 2014). Ultimately, government and businesses must work collaboratively to provide the necessary to strengthen the tourism sector.

The study will be organized as follows:

  • Chapter Onewill cover the introduction of the research.
  • Chapter Twowill cover the research proposal as is in this paper.   
  • Chapter Threewill include details of research methodology and literature review
  • Chapter Fourwill report the Data Analysis and present the research as proposed.  
  • Chapter Fivewill include the synthesis and findings.
  • Chapter Sixwill summarise about Conclusion and Recommendation.

The entire research study is projected to cost approximately $2500 for effective completion of the study within the given project time.  The budget is specified for:

  • Reviewing of secondary data sources like textbooks, journals, and online materials and the collection of data will cost nearly $1500.
  • Further, the mining and analysis of the huge amount of data into tables and charts will require a budget of approximately $1000.


Estimated Cost

Literature Review and Data collection

$ 1500

Data Analysis

$ 1000

Total Estimated Cost

$ 2500

The following Gantt chart below illustrates the timeline for the entire project from start to the end.

Activity/ Time



Duration (Days)

Research proposal




Literature review




Data collection




Data analysis




Presentation and Report submission





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