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Terrorism is not a new issue, it is something that has been used for a long time in history. In this research project, I will only be looking at the most recent terrorist incidents that have occurred in the last five years. This will include incidents in Turkey, Madrid, London and Egypt. In November 2003, four truck bombs exploded in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 57 people and injuring 700. The first attacks were carried out on November 15th when two trucks carrying bombs drove into the Bet Israel and Neve Shalom synagogues. The majority of the victims were Turkish Muslims.

Five days later, two more truck bombs were detonated outside the HSBC Bank and the British Consulate. A high number of British tourists were killed in the attack and also the top British official in Istanbul, consul general Roger Short. Al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility for both attacks. In March 2004, ten explosions occurred aboard four commuter trains in Madrid, Spain. 191 people were killed in the attack and 1,755 people were injured. The attacks were again linked to the Al-Qaeda terror network however no evidence of their involvement has ever been found.

A group of Moroccan, Syrian and Algerian Muslims were later charged with involvement in the attack. In July 2007, three bombs exploded on three London Underground trains and a fourth exploded on a bus in Tavistock Square in London. The bombings killed 52 people and injured around 700. Two weeks later three more attacks were attempted on the London Underground and another on a bus however all four failed to detonate successfully and only one minor injury was reported. In October 2004, terrorists targeted tourist hotels in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

A bomb exploded in the lobby of the Hilton Taba causing ten of its floors to collapse. 31 people were killed and 159 others were injured. Two more bombings occurred that day near Nuweiba. A car parked in front of a restaurant at a tourist resort exploded killing 3 people and injuring 12. Another attack was carried out at a separate resort however nobody was harmed. Then, in April 2005, three related terrorist incidents occurred in Cairo, Egypt. The first was on April 7th when a suicide bomber set off explosives near a popular street market. Three inbound tourists were killed and 18 others injured.

The second incident occurred on April 30th when a nail bomb was detonated in a busy bus station injuring 7 people. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. Later that day, two veiled females carried out the third attack by opening fire on a tourist bus. Again there were no fatalities, but 3 people were injured. Later on in the year, in July 2005, the tourist resort Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt was targeted by a series of terrorist attacks. Three bombs exploded killing a total of 88 people and injuring more than 200 others, making it the most fatal attack in the country’s history.

The first bomb exploded near a street market, the second was hidden in a suitcase and detonated outside a hotel and the third occurred when a truck drove into a strip of beach front hotels. The Plan (a) Aims, objectives and parameters The aim of my research project is “To discover whether terrorism has had a negative effect on the travel and tourism industry”. It is important to establish aims when carrying out a research project as they set out a clear direction to go in and ensure that you do not go off track.

If you focus clearly on your aim then all information and research collected should stay relevant to the task. To help me achieve this aim, I have set out a number of objectives. All aims and objectives should be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. My objectives are: 1. To find out whether tourists are more wary of destinations that are known to have been targeted by terrorists and to what extent it affects their choice of destination. This objective is SMART because it is focused on one aspect and it is detailed in what needs to be achieved, therefore it is specific.

This objective is measurable because I will be able to ask a number of tourists about the issue and find out if they are wary of certain destinations and whether it affects where they would choose to go on holiday. The objective is achievable because it will be quite easy for me to ask a number of people about their feelings on the issue. I know that I will be capable of achieving this aim and so this also makes it realistic. The objective is timed as it will need to be achieved in order for me to complete the research project for which there is a deadline.

I have constructed a time plan detailing the dates by which I should have completed certain tasks. 2. To discover whether the number of visitors to these destinations have decreased following the attacks. This objective is SMART because it is specific by setting out a particular task that I will need to complete and clearly telling me what I need to do. I will need to gather quantitative data regarding visitor numbers to certain destinations which is measurable. It is achievable because there are a number of resources available for me to use in order to gather this information, such as the internet.

It is also realistic because I have the resources that are needed and am able to research the data. It is timed as there is a deadline for which the project needs to be completed and I will need to achieve the aim in order to carry out my project. I will also refer to my time plan which states when I should have completed certain tasks. 3. To see how long it took for visitor numbers to go back up, or whether the number is still lower than before the attack. This objective is SMART because it is specific about what needs to be done and what needs to be researched.

It is measurable because I will again be using quantitative data about visitor numbers to different destinations. It is achievable because I will be able to use resources, like those used in objective 2, in order to find out the information. It is realistic because these resources are readily available to me. It will be timed because I can use my time plan to see when it needs to be completed, and there is a deadline that my project needs to be completed by. 4. To find out if a destination’s income from tourism is noticeably affected following a terrorist attack.

This objective is SMART because it clearly defines what I need to do and is detailed, making it specific. It is measurable because I will need to look at data and see how income from tourism has changed. It is achievable because I will be able to find the data either in the internet or in newspapers or reports regarding the issue. It is realistic because I am physically able to achieve the aim; I can gather the data and analyse it myself. The objective is timed because I will be working towards my time plan and deadline. 5. To discover the opinions of tourists on the threat of terrorism in the future.

This objective is SMART because it is specific about the future of terrorism and how tourists feel about it. It is measurable because I can ask people what their feeling are and then compare and analyse the answers. It is achievable because there are a number of people whom I can ask about the issue and who will provide the information that is required in order to achieve the aim. It is realistic because I have the resources to achieve it. It is timed because I will be using my time plan when carrying out my research project and I will need to complete this aim before I am able to continue with the project and finish it by the deadline.

(b) Methodology In order to achieve the aim of my research project, I will be using a number of research methodologies. To meet the first objective, I will produce a questionnaire and hand out 50 copies around my school and local area. By doing this, I can discover the thoughts of different people and analyse them to see whether they are wary of destinations that have been targeted by terrorists in the past, and whether their choice of holiday destination is affected by this.

To meet the second objective, I will conduct interviews with travel agents in my local area and ask them whether they have noticed a decrease in bookings to these destinations. I will create a second questionnaire that will be given only to travel agents as they are professionals in the industry so that they can write down any changes they may have noticed and give their opinions on whether they believe it to be related to terrorism. I will also use the internet, newspapers and books to search for statistics for visitor numbers to these destinations and see how they have changed following an attack.

To meet the third objective, I will again ask a number of travel agents whether the visitor numbers have begun to increase again, or whether they believe that they are still affected by a terrorist attack. I will also use the internet to find relevant statistics on visitor numbers and observe how they have changed. To meet the fourth objective, I will be conducting secondary research using newspapers and the internet to find data regarding the income from tourism for these destinations and see whether they have lost income after an attack has occurred.

To meet the last objective, I would like to organise a focus group in order to find out the opinions of tourists in more detail than I would have been given in my questionnaires. They will be able to express their views on the issue of terrorism and whether they feel that they are at risk because they believe that there will be more attacks, or whether they feel quite safe. The focus panel would also contribute to all four objectives as I would ask them questions concerning the four other areas that I am interested in finding out about for my research project.

References

Books

Frey, B.S (2005)

Dealing with Terrorism: Stick or Carrot?

Edward Elgar Publishing

Enders, W. & Sandler, T. (2006)

The Political Economy of Terrorism

Cambridge University Press

Journals

Pizam, A. & Smith, G. (2000)

“Tourism and Terrorism: A Quantitative Analysis of Major Terrorist Acts and their Impact on Tourism Destinations” Tourism Economics 1 June 2000 p. 123-138

Websites

www.oneworld.net

www.terrorism-research.com

www.wikipedia.com

www.travelwirenews.com

www.foxnews.com

www.bbc.com

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