During the evening of Saturday 3rd June 2017, the city of London has once again suffered from cowardly acts of terrorism.
According to a report published in this morning’s edition of The Telegraph, seven people have been killed and 48 injured, many of them stabbed, following confirmed terrorist attacks at two sites in London – London Bridge and Borough Market.
The World of Tourism from the four corners of the globe stands with London today. The world was still getting to terms with the recent Manchester attack, and as the great British People were coming to terms with that incident another blow has stricken the lives of locals and tourists alike in Great Britain.
As far away as the Seychelles, sitting right in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but still part of the World of Tourism, Alain St.Ange said “I extend my heartfelt condolences and sincere sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and to the people of Great Britain.
“A call I made during my candidacy for the recent UNWTO elections for the post of Secretary General was for Ministers of Tourism and also those for Internal Affairs to sit with the Press Fraternity alongside the tourism industry’s public and private sector, the UNWTO and the WTTC, to analyse threats such as what happened in London last night. It is very clear that this is a matter for the international community to rally together because innocent lives are being lost and economies threatened because some seem to enjoy such acts of destruction. Today I again call for the Community of Nations to meet and to get the Press on board. Great Britain cannot do this alone, and as we see the number of Cities of the World affected at one point in time by such carnage get longer, we need to join forces and search for solutions.”
ICTP Chairman Juergen Steinmetz, who is also the publisher of eTurboNews echoes St.Ange’s call to work with media stakeholders, but urges a different approach by not just condemning and not just offering ‘any assistance’. He urges leaders to come up with a workable solution that doesn’t further the activities of those wanting to cause damage to the tourism industry.
“In reality, condemning terror attacks effectively multiplies the success of the perpetrators. It’s like throwing a nuclear bomb after the attack to create paranoia among millions of potential travelers, making them too scared to travel. Next governments issue travel advisories or even worse travel warnings. They stop airlines flying to destinations that rely on the tourism Dollar. Who are the victims in those travel advisories? Definitely not the terrorists. Victims are again the people that rely on the travel and tourism industry for their livelihood.
“London, with its millions of visitors, can sustain some bad publicity. Most governments won’t issue serious warnings against a country like the U.K. anyway. However, other destinations like Tunisia, Kenya, Thailand, and Egypt, have a very different problem. Their weak infrastructure, low salaries and lack of resources make them the most vulnerable of tourist destinations.
“One billion people and more take international trips every year. A fraction of a fraction of a percentage would be in the same city at the same time that a terror attack happens. Another fraction of a percentage would be directly involved and a low percentage of those might actually become a victim. Flying on today’s safest airlines is far more dangerous compared to the likelihood of being involved in a terror attack.
“Instead of just condemning yesterday’s attack in London, and giving those that did it praise for doing a great job hurting 48 people, I suggest that we all condemn those countries that issue senseless travel warnings that tell their citizens to be on the watch for something undetermined,” Steinmetz concludes.
As Alain St.Ange has often said: “Seychelles is a friend of all and an enemy of none.” Statements like this could be a great start.
The former Minister of Tourism for the Seychelles, Alain St.Ange is now running his own tourism consulting company Saint Ange Consultancy.