Just about all US citizens are a little bit shaken up by the prospect of terrorist bombings, but after the US government issued a warning about potential al-Qaeda ‘commando’ attacks in crowded European cities, some Americans expecting to visit Europe have been making other plans.
A survey of 500 US users of OneNewsPage found almost a fifth (19%) said they had ‘actually canceled’ travel plans because of recent government safety warnings.
Over half (52%) of the US public surveyed, while not having canceled foreign trips, said that the warnings would deter them from traveling to Europe.
Sixty-five per cent of the 500 people sampled said they feared an al-Qaeda attack in the US.
And despite the long-running ‘war on terrorism’ instigated by the previous Bush regime, 68% believed the US was losing it.
What’s more, over half (54%) said their fear of terrorism had increased in the past year.
But when asked directly ‘Is it still safe to travel abroad? more than a half of the respondents (54.5%) agreed it was safe.
The One News Page survey was conducted over three days from the 4 to 6th October. The US government warning was issued on 3 October.
Dr. Marc Pinter-Krainer, CEO of One News Page, says:
“Almost a fifth of respondents said they’d already canceled foreign travel plans, following the US government warning to avoid crowded places in Europe. While Europe struggles to recover from recession, the impact on tourism could be very damaging. That said, most people learn to live with risks and get on with their lives, so I expect much of this strong reaction is because the warning is very fresh in their minds.”
Only time will tell if these warnings will have serious impact on Europe’s travel industry.