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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
  • 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

  • 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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  • 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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Turkey: Prehistoric Site Bears Telltale Signs of Modern Woes

At its peak, 3,500 to 8,000 people lived there

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Turkey, Prehistoric, Modern Woes
Photo of researchers excavating the ruins of Catalhoyuk, June 18, 2019. Catalhoyuk's residents lived in clay brick structures akin to apartments, entering and exiting through ladders that connected the living areas of houses to the roofs. VOA

Overcrowding. Violence. Infectious diseases. Environmental degradation.

It may sound like the worst of modern mega-cities.

But people encountered these very same problems when the first large settlements were being established millennia ago as humans began to swap a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence for a lifestyle centered on farming, scientists said on Monday, based on findings from a prehistoric site in south-central Turkey.

The researchers examined 742 human skeletons unearthed at the prehistoric ruins of Catalhoyuk, inhabited from 9,100 to 7,950 years ago during a pivotal time in human evolution, for clues about what life was like at one of the earliest sizable settlements in the archeological record. At its peak, 3,500 to 8,000 people lived there, with the researchers calling it a “proto-city.”

Turkey, Prehistoric, Modern Woes
The researchers examined 742 human skeletons unearthed at the prehistoric ruins of Catalhoyuk. VOA

High rate of infections

The residents experienced a high rate of infections, as seen in their teeth and bones, probably caused by diseases spreading in crowded conditions amid challenges to proper hygiene, the researchers said. Overcrowding may have contributed to interpersonal violence. Many skulls bore evidence of healed fractures to the top or back of the cranium, some with multiple injuries.

The shape of these injuries indicates they may have been caused by hard clay balls found at Catalhoyuk that researchers suspect were used as projectiles from a sling weapon

“A key message that people will take from these findings is that our current behaviors have deep roots in the history of humankind,” said Ohio State University biological anthropologist Clark Spencer Larsen, who led the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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“The people living in this community faced challenges of life in settlements addressing fundamental issues: what to eat, who produces the food, how is the food distributed, what are the social norms for division of labor, the challenges of infection and infectious disease in settings where there is limited sanitation, the strategy of interpersonal relationships involving animosity in some instances,” Larsen added.

Weather played a role

As the world emerged from the last Ice Age, with warmer conditions conducive to crop domestication, there was a shift from foraging to farming beginning 10,000 to 12,000 years ago among people in numerous places.

The people grew crops including wheat, barley and rye and raised sheep, goats and eventually cattle. Some homes boasted wall murals, and other art included stone figurines of animals and corpulent women.

Catalhoyuk’s residents lived in clay brick structures akin to apartments, entering and exiting through ladders that connected the living areas of houses to the roofs. After death, residents were buried in pits dug into the floors of the homes.

Catalhoyuk, measuring about 32 acres (13 hectares), was continuously occupied for 1,150 years and appears to have been a largely egalitarian community. It was eventually abandoned perhaps because of environmental degradation caused by the human population and a drying climate that made farming there harder, the researchers said. (VOA)