Studies have been done with a focus on determining the nature of the effect of the September 11 terrorism attack on US tourism. The studies focus on determining whether the attacks had an ongoing or transitory effect on the sector. The attacks on September 11 had an immediate negative effect on both inbound and outbound tourism. The final four months of the year experienced significant drops in tourist departures and arrivals by up to 33%. The trade deficit resulting from tourism and travel fell to $1.8 billion in 2003 from 4.1 billion in 2000. However, the sector rebounded to rise in each subsequent year from the 2003 levels.
The short-lived effect of the terrorist attacks on US tourism has been assessed in other empirical studies using different methodologies. One study applied fractional unit root tests on monthly bilateral data on tourist arrivals for ten years from 1996 to 2006. The study found that the integration orders for all series in the data were less than one. This implies that the series are mean reverting thus the negative effects of the September 11 attack were only transitory. This is a univariate time-series technique that is designed or testing the statistical properties of the data series without modeling the effects of other factors in it. The disturbance term in the series should be well behaved to ensure that it represents the other factors. A close look at the tourist arrivals shows that the possibility of the negative effect being ongoing is high but has been offset by the depreciation of the dollar after 2001. Another study on the multivariate demand functions for US exports and imports from tourism showed that the dummy variable representing 9/11 had a negative sin but was statistically insignificant. This means the attacks only had a temporary effect on tourism in the US (King, 2010).
Sources of data for the study include government records on economic growth. These records can be used for information on GDP growth in the economy, as well as employment levels in the sector. This data source could also be disaggregated State wise to enable the assessment of the effects of terrorism attack on the different states. The pother source of data for the study can be collected from the airline industry. This data would be essential in enabling the researcher to determine the number of arrivals and departures into and out of the country in order to determine tourism numbers. Data for the study could also be collected from the tourism industry including the hotels, parks, and lodges. These facilities record numbers of individuals visiting the parks and lodges in the country. Hotel bookings would also act as a reliable data source on the number of tourists visiting the country (Edmonds & Mak, 2006). This Data would be collected for the period prior to the attack, as well as the period after the attack. Reports on the state of the tourism sector would be essential in assessing the effect of the attack on the sector. This is because it would provide information on the revenues or losses gained from the sector in the selected study period. Information for the study can also be collected from journals and periodicals that report about the tourism industry, as well as those focusing on economic growth and development.
Key topics and themes for the study include studying whether the effect of the terrorist attack was ongoing or temporary. Another key theme is to show the effect of other factors such as weakness of the economy, depreciation of the dollar, and changes in demographics on the tourism sector (Tarlow, 2002).
The main concept in the studies is that tourism in an area declines with a decline in perceived safety of a place. This means tourism to a place will decline when people feel insecure due to the occurrence of terrorism activities. Another concept in the literature is that tourism may decline because of decreased willingness of people to travel. The terrorism attack reduced the willingness of people to travel due to security concerns thus lowering tourism levels. The attack heightened the need for security in airports and other entry points thus discouraging travel by US citizens abroad…
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