As a result of the attacks in Tunis at the end of June, the decrease in security perception and demand has also extended to other predominantly Muslim tourist destinations.
On Thursday 27th June, terrorism struck again in Tunis with a double suicide attack, thus tarnishing a tourist season that was set to be prosperous. This double attack has shattered the relative peace of the last few years, a far cry from the wave of attacks in 2015 which had previously ruined the country’s tourist sector.
These terrible acts have not only affected Tunisia; indeed the repercussions have also been felt in other predominantly Muslim tourist destinations, affecting both their security perception and demand, according to a study by the Travel Intelligence consulting firm Mabrian Technologies.
Mabrian has analysed data regarding the perception shown on Social Media as well as the flight searches and bookings for three destinations (Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt) during the days before the attacks (23/06 – 26/06/2019) and the days after the attack (27/06 – 30/06/2019), using the British market as an example.
Mabrian analyses visitors’ perception during their stay through their interactions on Social Media (using Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence techniques).
By therefore focusing on the evolution of the Security Perception Index calculated by Mabrian, for Tunisia, a decrease of over 50 points can be identified, thus reaching an all-time low. A corresponding drop in the security perception is also seen for Turkey (8%) and Egypt (4%).
Meanwhile, a clear decline in the flight searches dynamic for flights from the UK to Tunisia can be observed when comparing the two periods. The relative weight of flight searches to Tunisia from the UK in relation to the overall searches carried out from the UK drops by 22%.
The decline is also evident when analysing the flight bookings’ data from the UK to Tunisia as well as the other destinations. The confirmed bookings to Tunisia drop by approximately 37% when comparing the two periods and, in parallel, the bookings for Turkey and Egypt show a profound deceleration due to the spread effect mentioned above.
As shown by the data analysed, there is a clear sensibility towards tourist security, which surpasses events occurring in a single destination and can be altered by circumstances in a global context; as a result affecting destinations that are not necessarily geographically close. This underlines the importance of monitoring tourist dynamics and perceptions in real-time for destinations and tourism companies, using Tourism Intelligence tools that can proactively identify and detect potential opportunities and threats.