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European tourism is hit hard after terror attacks in Brussels and Paris

Thomas Cook (Britain’s best-known tour operator) said in his analysis this is the biggest fall in our travel industry in last 17 years

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Tourists in Paris, Image credits : wsj.com
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  • 320 dead- Terrorist attack at the Brussels’ airport 2016
  • 224 dead- Bombing of Russian Jetliner flying from Egypt in November 2015
  • 130 dead- Paris killings in November 2015

Spates of terror attacks and air crashes have started to show the effect on Europe’s travel industry. After terror incidents, tourism officials generally brace themselves for such sudden drops. In a matter of weeks, things come back to normal.  But this time, things are starting to look different.

Starting with Egypt-Air Flight 804 disappearance from the radar to the Paris attacks, bookings started to decline significantly. Carolyn McCall (chief executive of British budget airline) said: “We have seen more external factors affecting us than we have seen at any other time.”

Another statement came from Michael O’Leary (CEO of Ryanair Holdings PLC, Europe’s biggest budget carrier) that “the pace of bookings—an early sign of passenger sentiment—again started slowing after the Egypt-Air tragedy.” He didn’t provide figures, though. Terrorist groups such as Islamic State have mainly targeted Europe in their master plans. Several of them happened in the year 2015 and in the present year of 2016.

The major attacks have inculcated fear among tourists. Thomas Cook (Britain’s best-known tour operator) said in his analysis this is the biggest fall in our travel industry in last 17 years. Turkey is Cook’s second biggest market. There have been a series of attacks in Turkey which has greatly affected the market.

Statistics of terror attacks, Image credits : wsg.com
Statistics of terror attacks, Image credits : wsg.com

Ryanair and EasyJet (Europe’s biggest carriers) were forced to cut their prices after the ongoing attacks. Tour operators are not flying to Egyptian resorts that have lately become a ghost town. Over there bookings have declined by a third.

However, bookings in Spain have increased up to 27%, with Portugal up to 30% and Italy up to 12%. There has been a corresponding effect on prices in Europe. David Hope (GfK’s business group director) said: “Prices are going up and up and up.” But he says this is only healthy for tour operators if they can provide enough rooms to meet demand. Cook’s rival, Tui (owner of Thomson) has fared better because it focuses on Spain and relies less on Turkey.

Robin Byde (a broker at Cantor Fitzgerald) says: “Between EasyJet and Ryanair, they have more than 20% of European short-haul traffic. They are price-makers as well as price-takers, so you have to take it with a pinch of salt when they talk about pressures driving down prices.”  The biggest influence on air fares is that on fuels. Airline companies buy their fuel in 2-year advance, so they are getting the benefit of the falling oil price enabling them plenty of scopes to cut down fares.

McCall reiterates that travelling is an important part of everyday life. Demands will bounce back after these shocks. So from a consumer’s point of view this indeed a very good time to fly.

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-by Pritam

Pritam is pursuing engineering and is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter handle: @pritam_gogreen

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  • Shivang Goel

    every evil comes with its own mirror,you cant run from it shadow; well written article infact.
    continuous attacks in certain region effects tourism upto a great extent Brussels will have face this trauma for many more years to come;it would have been a single attack things could have gone back to normal;but it hardly seems so; infact its a chance for portugal,spain even Italy to fetch as many travelers in this period

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, terrorism does affect the tourism of any place. People get extra cautious about events like these and this creates bad impressions. Terrorism should be immediately looked after

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    This was expected .. The government would have to ensure that the tourists are safe and this will take some time.

  • Shivang Goel

    every evil comes with its own mirror,you cant run from it shadow; well written article infact.
    continuous attacks in certain region effects tourism upto a great extent Brussels will have face this trauma for many more years to come;it would have been a single attack things could have gone back to normal;but it hardly seems so; infact its a chance for portugal,spain even Italy to fetch as many travelers in this period

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, terrorism does affect the tourism of any place. People get extra cautious about events like these and this creates bad impressions. Terrorism should be immediately looked after

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    This was expected .. The government would have to ensure that the tourists are safe and this will take some time.

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads. Pixabay

Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company “operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.”

In an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Kaspersky Lab’s Founder Eugene Kaspersky has termed the move as “potential political censorship”.

Twitter icon.
Twitter bans ads. Pixabay

“At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyberthreats and what to do about them,” Eugene wrote on Friday.

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” he added.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

“No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year. “The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online,” Eugene tweeted on Saturday.

According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

Also Read: New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

“Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Register. “Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats,” Eugene said.

“The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users.”

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Eugene said.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

The Kaspersky Lab founder said that more than two months have passed and the only reply he received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text.

“Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban,” he said. IANS