The terrible events in London have once again brought terrorism to the forefront.
Those who commit these acts choose their targets carefully: they want to disrupt the daily lives of residents and to persuade would-be visitors to stay away. Their aims are to inflict immediate damage and to create long-term economic harm.
So, what is the proper way for travellers to respond to this kind of event?
We’ve certainly seen reduced tourism activity in other places that have suffered terror attacks — including Tunis, Sharm el Sheikh, Istanbul and Paris.
But we’ve also seen a resilience on behalf of residents, and some visitors, to defy the terrorists and continue with their day-to-day lives and travel plans. This defiance was especially apparent following the recent attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
I’m not in the business of telling anybody exactly where they should or shouldn’t go. All I can say is that you should make a personal decision based on the advice you get from reputable sources — especially sites such as those listed at the end of this post — and your own common sense.
You should certainly be vigilant wherever you go, but keep in mind that these attacks are, thankfully, still rare, but they are designed to make people afraid.
Travel advisory services:
+ Smartraveller: the Australian government site
+ British Foreign Office travel advice
+ Alerts and warnings from the US State Department
+ Safe Travel: the New Zealand Government site
+ Travel advisories from the Canadian government
(Other governments have similar sites. Google the name of the country and terms such as “travel advice” or “travel advisory”. Remember that private entities such as travel agencies and airlines may have a commercial reason for the advice they proffer.)