Dis­as­ter Tourism Can’t Trump Safety Con­cerns

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­ported anal­y­sis of the threat to the US ter­ri­tory of Guam posed by an ap­par­ently trig­ger-happy North Korean supremo is cer­tainly “out of the box” if not the mind. Per­ceiv­ing the threat of a mis­sile at­tack by a hos­tile na­tion as a tourism booster for the tiny mil­i­tary base-laden Pa­cific is­land is cu­ri­ous in­deed. Next some­one might pre­dict a tourism surge in north­east­ern In­dia as a fall­out of the Dok­lam stand­off. Given that po­ten­tial vis­i­tors to Guam – es­pe­cially the Ja­panese, who com­prise 75% of the cur­rent in­flow – have many more equally idyllic is­lands in the Pa­cific to choose from that are not in the crosshairs of a bel­li­cose East Asian leader, not even the lure of the world’s largest K-Mart may prove ir­re­sistible. Even those with a yen for dis­as­ter tourism tend to go there after the cat­a­strophic event, not be­fore or dur­ing the may­hem. Of course, the gov­er­nor of Guam ap­pears to share his pres­i­dent’s op­ti­mism on the tourism front, as he has re­port­edly claimed ho­tel oc­cu­pancy cur­rently stands at 95% and would rise to 110% “after all this stuff calms down”. How­ever, the fact that there have sup­pos­edly been no can­cel­la­tions de­spite the sabre rat­tling be­tween the US and North Korea should make the pres­i­dents of both those na­tions won­der how se­ri­ously the trav­el­ling pub­lic takes them.

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