Tourism in the contemporary times has occupied the second position in terms of leading the world’s economic condition by ensuring maximum global earning after that of the oil industry. Tourism accounts for over $300 billion which is approximately 25% of the world’s total GNP. The world’s fastest growing sector is identified to be the tourism sector in terms of economy recording an average rate of 7.1 per cent development in the annual manner. Despite having such statistically strength in terms of growth it seems tourism in many countries is still an apparently more vulnerable sector for getting affected through political turmoils (Bunakov et al. 2015, p.39). Tourism is a sector that has to deal with various affairs taking place in the diverse regions of the world hence also has the equal amount of vulnerability to get impinged by consequences related this aspect. The issues of political instability that may take place within and between the states becomes highly relevant as determining factors for imaging of the destinations before generating tourism plans in a particular region. These fall into the basic requisites for the organisers of the tourism sector to ensure maximum safety and security of the tourists.
By the term political instability it clearly delineates the conditional state of the country in which the government and the operations conducted by them undergo severe instability or periodic disruptions. Political instability surrounds a wide range of multidimensional and complex aspect suggesting lack of control and social-order resulting in overall unsteadiness within the country (Mowforth and Munt, 2015, p.45). Some among the extreme conditions or events that lead to political instability as the automatic consequence are civil wars, terrorism attacks, political and social strikes and conditions of unrest. Tourism in the recent times has eventually gained a position that is led and associated with governmental intervention. Major events taking place in the varied regions have significantly affected the tourism sector to not only cause threat but have to bare heavy losses due to political unrest conditions.
The relationship between the tourism sector and politics might not the supreme focal pint of the political parties and elections but it does have a significant role to play within the sector concerned. The necessity of the political intervention through the formulation of policies lies fundamentally due to integration of economic, cultural and intellectual benefits. This sort of amalgamations are required in this sector as an essential requisite to collectively bind the people, destinations and countries for the purpose of improving the global standard of living (Causevic and Lynch, 2013, p.153). Peace and prosperity are the primary responsibilities of the political powers throughout the world. It is necessary to understand the relevance of the political role before taking any nation into consideration for the intension of travel. Moreover, it is evident that the political aspects are closely interwoven with that of the economic aspects of the specific country to be travelled (Yang et al. 2013, p.90). Tourism instead of being treated as an extension to the politics must rather be considered as a strong tool to be used to bring economy for political requirements. By strengthening the tourism sector a political power of a nation shall enable to obtain a better position in terms of GDP contribution for that nation.
Having said that, the tourism sector has in the recent times has flourished so much that it is impracticable for the government to ignore the tourism activities from their sphere of interest. The government that shoulders responsibilities regrading evolving the pattern and pace of the overall economic ongoing of the nation needs to be conscious regarding the activities of tourism sector as well. There is a rather active participation noticed on the part of the government with respect to restore the faith in terms of feelings safe to travel to diverse nations across the world (McDowell et al. 2013, p.299). The tourism policies are made to concentrate upon the ways and means by which decision shall be taken by the governing bodies than merely analysing the issues. This step has evidently proved a considerable effort coming from both the public as well as the private sectors for acknowledging the nature of tourism with serious relevance.
On analysing the influences of political instability upon tourism sector a number of events can be noted for posing negative consequences over the tourists and their practices of travel. Some of such events are discussed below:
Beijing has in the recent past witnessed forceful suppression of the student protests by the Chinese authorities. The civilian population residing in these areas were threatened in a big way with the help of military tanks. This event gained the attention of audiences throughout the world as striking the prime news covers on an international podium. The consequence of which led to ruin the image of Chinese government in terms of international impression (Wan and Bramwell, 2015, p.320). Beijing had encountered heavy losses in terms of tourism sector due to the negative opinions that people tended to grow towards the government of the region.
A similar picture reflecting instance of political violence was generated due to the consequence of martial law declared upon Tibetan civilians. A situation of turmoil triggered through nationalist unrest was inflicted upon innocent public. The event of killing a foreigner at Kathmandu due to their initiative to capture the pro-democratic demonstration situation led to heavy suffering for the Tibetan tourism industry.
The Maoist group is one of the strongest terrorist clans who pledged to free the Peru from foreign influences. The existing Peruvian institutions were potentially replaced with revolutionary regimes. However, in their mission to free the Peru from foreign grievances, they have attacked severely. These attacks have caused significant loss in terms of income and socio-cultural aspects upon the international visitors (Becken et al. 2015, p.441). This event has affected the tourism sector in a large-scale causing big time setback.
Terrorist attacks were evidently observed within Turkey as well when political group composed of Marxist-Leninist approach tried to initiate an independent Marxist state within the Southern Turkey. The local government operating in those regions had notified the foreign tourist companies to prohibit tourists from reaching their grounds (Shkurkin et al. 2016, p.14). They had attacked the tourists by bombing them in the various hotels and by kidnapping them (Farmaki et al. 2015, p.180). They evidently confronted a significant drop of 8 per cent of foreign visitors in accordance with the arrival reports since the date of the attacks taken place inj these affected regions.
The state of increasing political instability has resulted in creating a negative portrayal of the countries due to the active broadcast of selective information conducted by the responsibility of the media. The potential prospect of the tourism sector of that country has automatically experienced a shattering effect. The emerging conflict between the two strongly opposing poles of South and North Korea has led to severe damage to not only property but loss of innocent lives (Avraham, 2015, p.230). The Soviet missile had shot down large number of unarmed Korea civilians due to the dominance of the North Korea upon the South regions. The South Korean students rebelled to voice their protest against the attack inflicted upon them. These events led to a sequence of consequent related events that kept the agony alive thus making the political spectrum open to great state of instability.
For the purpose of projecting their own countries surrounded with a positive image and construct themselves strongly against others the government started treating tourism as a political weapon. Governments operating in the varied countries discovered the fact that political pressure channelised through this measure can prove beneficial for them (Voll and Mosedale, 2015, p.100). During the period where Philippines in order to proclaim themselves as independent freed themselves from the governance of the United States, the following election evidenced an unsteady state of the political condition. Philippines have faced issues in terms of economic, political and natural disasters after taking such a decision. Marcos then generated the thought that tourism sector must be given utmost prevalence to ensure greater economic conditions for their state. Marcos has incorporated new regime programs in order to revive Philippines from the crisis to get worsen. They started manipulating the tourism prospects by developing that sector with utmost prevalence (Yang et al. 2014, p.1163). These practices were imbibed for the purpose of exploring better opportunities for conducting business.
Political unsteadiness is that variable which is critically entwined with the security of the particular region. However an accumulation of negative practices that tends to generate political instability pose greater risk regrading the perception of the destination in the minds of the tourists. Tourists plan to travel in search for obtaining the serenity, safety, leisure and comfort that they lack in their daily course of life (Salamey, 2015, p.120). However, if they are unable to seek the same in the destination presumed to be travelled due to such instable conditions it is obvious to mark that destination as a troubled nation. Political intrusion leading to manipulation at times may become misleading and disadvantageous for their region itself. It must be kept in mind that tourists are highly sensitive to political instability. It is fault on the part of responsible tourism sector management to not include any kind of discussion related to impact of international politics upon the field of tourism. There is considerable number of evidences proclaiming the effects of political instability upon the tourism income generation process and causing negative social and cultural consequences. It is however most desirable to seek for political stability which holds a lot of relevance in terms of tourism investments. The tourism arrival record acts as a potential parameter to evaluate the level of safety developing an attracting perception among the people. The apprehension of the resulting risks and uncertainty is most likely to decrease the tourist arrivals thus influencing the tourism sector in a negative direction. The government travel advisory seems to have a growing influence upon the choice and preference of the destination made by the travellers. Just as political power has significant negative impact upon tourism sector, they need to take the responsibility to restrict people from travelling to risk prone or war afflicted regions.
Avraham, E., 2015. Destination image repair during crisis: Attracting tourism during the Arab Spring uprisings. Tourism Management, 47, pp.224-232.
Becken, S., Zammit, C. and Hendrikx, J., 2015. Developing Climate Change Maps for Tourism: Essential Information or Awareness Raising?. Journal of Travel Research, 54(4), pp.430-441.
Bunakov, O.A., Zaitseva, N.A., Larionova, A.A., Chudnovskiy, A.D., Zhukova, M.A. and Zhukov, V.A., 2015. Research on the evolution of management concepts of sustainable tourism and hospitality development in the regions. Journal of Sustainable Development, 8(6), p.39.
Causevic, S. and Lynch, P., 2013. Political (in) stability and its influence on tourism development. Tourism Management, 34, pp.145-157.
Farmaki, A., Altinay, L., Botterill, D. and Hilke, S., 2015. Politics and sustainable tourism: The case of Cyprus. Tourism Management, 47, pp.178-190.
McDowell, G., Ford, J.D., Lehner, B., Berrang-Ford, L. and Sherpa, A., 2013. Climate-related hydrological change and human vulnerability in remote mountain regions: a case study from Khumbu, Nepal. Regional Environmental Change, 13(2), pp.299-310.
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Shkurkin, D.V., Sogacheva, O.V., Logvencheva, E.S. and Khramova, M.N., 2016. Modernization of the Sphere of Tourist and Hospitality Industry of the South of Russia as a Growth Factor of Socio-economic Stability of the Region. International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, 6(1S).
Voll, F. and Mosedale, J., 2015. Political-economic transition in Georgia and its implications for tourism in Svaneti. TIMS. Acta, 9(2), pp.91-103.
Wan, Y.K.P. and Bramwell, B., 2015. Political economy and the emergence of a hybrid mode of governance of tourism planning. Tourism Management, 50, pp.316-327.
Yang, J., Ryan, C. and Zhang, L., 2013. Social conflict in communities impacted by tourism. Tourism Management, 35, pp.82-93.
Yang, J., Ryan, C. and Zhang, L., 2014. Sustaining culture and seeking a Just Destination: Governments, power and tension–a life-cycle approach to analysing tourism development in an ethnic-inhabited scenic area in Xinjiang, China. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(8), pp.1151-1174.
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