Sadly it has become an all too familiar headline: Scores killed in another terror attack. The massacre in Paris last weekend was as brutal and mindless as the bomb that is now confirmed to have downed the Russian passenger jet just three weeks ago, and the gunning down of 38 tourists in Tunisia less than five months ago.
The world was quick to respond, and the principles of France’s motto – Liberté, egalité, fraternité – were echoed across the globe, in the landmarks illuminated by the colours of France’s national flag; in the world-wide minute’s silence on Monday.
These principles were also encapsulated by the tourists who surprised operators by wanting to stay in the French capital, and in those who came forward to book breaks to Paris to show their support for the French people. And by the agent who handed out the Tricolore to other retailers, so that every shop on his high street could fly the flag colours above their doors.
No words can be offered to describe the emotional cost of such attacks – in the lives lost, and for those left behind. The financial cost is easier to quantify. This week easyJet estimated that the Sharm crisis alone had cost the airline £10 million. Euromonitor has already predicted that Paris’ lucrative Mice market – which accounted for 38% of international arrivals in 2014 – will likely be impacted by the terror tragedy. And there can be no denying the devastating loss to the livelihoods of those locals that rely on tourism in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia.
But if we have learnt anything from these horrifying attacks, it is that people – locals and tourists alike - are resilient, and that destinations will recover. The British government has announced that its embassy in Tunis is funding a project to help the country deal with security challenges, and last week TTG reported the UK had sent aviation security and military experts to Egypt to boost security at Sharm el Sheikh’s airport. The world is in mourning for the 129 lives lost, but it is also unified. France’s motto has never seemed more powerful.
News editor, TTG