• Is terrorism hurting travel? Tourism exec brings answer to exclusive Dallas summit

    IMAGE: Travelers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. (Tom Fox/Staff Photographer)

    As originally published in the Dallas Morning News by Karen Robinson-Jacobs

    Terrorist attacks, even as they seem to come with mind-numbing regularity, do not reduce global tourism over the long term.

    That point, made by the top executive with a global tourism group, will be reinforced this week when the heads of some of the nation’s largest travel and tourism companies and agencies gather in Dallas for a two-day think-fest.

    That conclusion is important for North Texas, which is increasingly marketing itself as a global destination.That point, made by the top executive with a global tourism group, will be reinforced this week when the heads of some of the nation’s largest travel and tourism companies and agencies gather in Dallas for a two-day think-fest.

    The invitation-only Global Summit of the World Travel & Tourism Council, set for Wednesday and Thursday, is expected to bring together key leaders in the tourism industry including Bill Marriott, executive chairman of Marriott International, and Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia Inc.

    The group of about 700 also will hear from at least eight tourism ministers from countries including Mexico and Zimbabwe.

    In advance of the annual summit, returning to the U.S. for first time since 2011, the head of the council spoke this week with The Dallas Morning News about the buoyancy of the global traveler and the implications of terrorist hits for the $2.23 trillion travel and tourism industry.

    “The European and the American travel are far more resilient than perhaps they were 15 or 20 years ago,” said David Scowsill, the global council’s president and chief executive. “They’re not going to let people get in the way of their planned vacations.”

    Similar to Europeans planning a vacation “you will find the American travelers will probably be switching away from the cities and the countries that have had this terrorist attack problem in the past 12 months and will be visiting other places. They’ll go to Spain, they’ll go to Portugal. They’ll go to Italy,” he said.

    “There’s nothing we’re hearing that there’s a large amount of cancellations or people overreacting in that sense, but clearly there will be some switching of destinations to places that the consumer thinks is more trusted or more secure.”

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