We analyze spatial spillover effects in international tourism as a consequence of transnational terrorist attacks. Specifically, we hypothesize that attacks executed in Islamic countries on citizens from Western countries will generate spatial spillovers of three kinds. Firstly, tourism from the victims’ countries to Islamic destination countries other than the location of the attacks will decline. Secondly, tourism from other Western countries to the country in which the attacks took place will decline. Thirdly, tourism from other Western countries to other Islamic destination countries also will decline. These spatial spillover effects occur because the terror message is strategically addressed at Western citizens in general rather than the tourists’ countries of origin per se. Tourists update their priors after such attacks, rationally expecting a greater chance of becoming victimized in other Islamic countries as well, given the transnational character of Islamist terror groups and the limited capacity of governments in Islamic countries to prevent such attacks.
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For example, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ terror group recently published an ambitious ‘5-year plan’, in which it lays out its objective of gaining control over all of Africa North of the equator including West Africa and the horn of Africa, the Arab peninsula, plus Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, all territories surrounding the Black Sea, the entire Balkans and even other parts of Europe, including Portugal and Spain, which once belonged to the territory of Al-Andalus.
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Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
1.1 Coding of countries/nationalities as Western or Islamic
1.1.1 Henderson and Tucker (2001)
‘West’ includes all of Western Europe, plus Australia, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, United States, Western Samoa.
‘Islamic’ includes Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.
1.1.2 Russett et al. (2000)
‘West’ includes all of Western Europe, plus Australia, Barbados, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominica, Estonia, Grenada, Hungary, Israel, Jamaica, Latvia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Slovak Republic, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad, United States, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa.
‘Islamic’ includes Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.
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Neumayer, E., Plümper, T. Spatial spill-overs from terrorism on tourism: Western victims in Islamic destination countries. Public Choice 169, 195–206 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-016-0359-y