An Examination of the Role that Strategic Marketing Plans Play to Encourage the Return of Tourists throughout the Recovery Phase of Destinations Impacted by Terrorism

  • Noelle O'Connor Limerick Institute of Technology
Keywords: Terrorism, Tourism, destination marketing, recovery


Purpose: This paper examines the role that strategic marketing plans play throughout the process of destination recovery post terrorist attack for the purpose of encouraging the return of tourists. This paper investigates the impact that strategic marketing plans have as apart of crisis management utilising a mixed-method approach which utilises survey data analysing future industry leaders to quantify perspectives regarding the relationship between terrorism, tourism and destination marketing. Furthermore, this paper reviews destination marketing techniques utilised by international locations to determine recovery strategies utilising marketing plans. Bali, Paris, Northern Ireland, New York, Sri Lanka and Tunisia were selected as case studies because they have been the focus of significant research studies to date (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Indonesia, 2017; BBC News, 2019; Ferreira, Graciano, Leal, and Costa, 2019) which have primarily focused on the relationship between terrorism and tourism regarding the collapse of the tourism industry. However, this paper which is focused on the recovery of tourism destinations will be beneficial by contributing to the body of knowledge thus paving the way for future research. Methods: In response to significant research gaps regarding a universal definition of terrorism; proactive versus reactive nature of crisis management; as well as, shifting tourism perspectives, resulted in a two phased research approach. Firstly, a survey was issued to students to gain perspectives regarding the relationship between terrorism, tourism and destination marketing. Secondly, case study analysis was conducted to examine both successful and unsuccessful destination recovery strategies. Results & Discussion: Issues that arose from analysing these data sources and information from the literature review identify implications for future development of strategic marketing models as a part of crisis management for the tourism industry. Results indicate that destinations that utilised strategic marketing as apart of crisis management frameworks experienced the return of tourists and recovered. Implications This research will contribute to the development of an inclusive, universal crisis management framework encompassing strategic marketing plans as a tool for recovery.