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"Initially terrorism was a certain mixture of politics, economics, and religion. Now it seems that terrorism is more individual and done to avenge personal grudges." – Dalai Lama

India is a diverse country, a popular tourist destination and the land of wide indifferences, has always been vulnerable to terrorist activities for a long time. Not only does terrorism claim the lives of several hundred, more importantly, but it also hampers the smooth functioning of the country's economy for a larger period of time. This article studies the direct negative relationship of tourism associated with terrorism as an immediate aftermath of these gruesome activities.

Terrorism In India: Terrorist activities have taken place in almost all states of India till date. The Annex of Statistical Information, Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 places India as the third highest country in the World with instances of terrorist activities. As a grave matter of fact, 59% of all worldwide attacks took place in five countries (Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines).

Table 1

Countries

Total Attacks

 

Total Deaths

 

 

2017

2016

2017

2016

Iraq

1951

2969

4269

9782

Afghanistan

1171

1343

4672

4578

India

860

931

380

344

Pakistan

574

739

851

957

Philippines

483

484

327

272

Others

3545

4684

8254

9789

WorldWide

8584

11150

18753

25722


Chart 1

 

Source: Annex of Statistical Information: Country Reports on Terrorism 2017

The report further goes on to tell that: "the total number of people killed in terrorist attacks increased 10% in 2017. More than half of the terrorist attacks in India in 2017 took place in three states: Jammu and Kashmir (25%), Chhattisgarh (15%), and West Bengal (10%). This geographic pattern reflects several key changes, in comparison to 2016: Jammu and Kashmir saw a 24 per cent increase in attacks in 2017 and an 89 per cent increase in the number of people killed in terrorist attacks. West Bengal saw a 215 per cent increase in attacks, from six in 2016 to 76 in 2017. Many of these attacks were arson attacks aimed at causing property damage, or bombings that caused relatively few casualties."

Jammu and Kashmir are regarded as one of the most beautiful places in India and it attracts a huge number of tourists from all around the globe. Now due to the immensely shocking number of terrorist activities, tourism in this region has suffered the most. (Refer to chart 6 and Table 5 of the article)

Tourism in India (An Overview): Tourism is one of the most flourishing industries in India. Being a land of cultures and traditions, India offers thousands of tourist destinations for relaxation, adventures, outing, and spiritual visits. India holds a lot of potential as a beautiful nation to attract a lot more foreign tourists and generate much more GDP through the improvement of this industry. 

However, despite all these factors, India's share in International Tourism Receipts (US $ terms) accounts for 2.05% of the total amount. The following are some statistical data and graphical representation of tourism in India from the annual report- “INDIA TOURISM STATISTICS AT A GLANCE 2018”.

Chart 2

 

Source: Analysis of data by the author from the report

The following is the share of top 10 states/ union territories in the number of foreign as well as domestic tourist visits in 2015:

Chart 3

Chart 4

 

Source: Ministry of Tourism, Government of India

What is important to note from this data is that Jammu and Kashmir are not among the most visited places by tourists in India. However, Jammu and Kashmir are referred to as the ‘Heaven on earth'. Now when a place with such a status does not enjoy high tourist inflow, it points out the severe political instability of the place. (Refer to the insurgencies in J&K section of the article) Also, West Bengal accounts for considerably less inflow of tourists in India. Both West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have been infamous due to Naxalite movements for a long time. Although the movement had its epicentre in West Bengal, in later years, it spread rapidly into Chhattisgarh. As of April 2018, Naxalites were actively visible in the Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon and Sukma districts of Chattisgarh. According to the aforementioned data, Annex of Statistical Information, more than half of the terrorist attacks in India in 2017 took place in three states. With all these data at hand, there seems to a linkage between tourism and terrorism. Let us take a closer look at two major terror attacks in India and its effects on tourism:

The 26/11 Mumbai Attacks and its aftermaths on tourism:

At Wasabi at the Taj they were sitting down to sushi, at Kandahar at the Oberoi it was kebabs, at the Chabad centre it was the certified kosher meal that had drawn many of the Orthodox Jews there, at the Re-Fresh food stall at CST station it was a quick snack before catching the train home and Cafe Leopold they were washing beef chilli fry down with beer, when the young men with guns started firing.”[26/11-Food for Dear and Recovery- Vikram Doctor]

The widely infamous 26/11 Mumbai Attacks were a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks carried out by 10 members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which lasted for 4 days. The attacks took place mostly in South Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, The Oberoi Trident, The Taj Palace & Tower, Leopold Café, Cama Hospital, The Nariman House and the Metro Cinema. The attacks being aimed mostly at foreign tourists took place at popular hotels, café and hospital. It is reported that 166 people were killed and over 300 were wounded in this attack.

Table 2

Nationality

Deaths

Injured

India

137

256

Non- Indians

29

37

Total

166

293

Source: Global Terrorism Database

While there were a lot more casualties suffered by Indians, as can be seen from the data, quite a few foreign tourists too were affected by the attacks. Foreigners suffered lower than Indians both in terms of deaths and injuries. However, the incident weakened the tourism industry of India in one big blow.

After the attacks took place, there have had been some really saddening restrictions on tourist spots. For example, the much famous Elephanta festival was stopped for 9 years due to security concerns.

Due to the lack of data on tourism before that period, it is slightly hard to establish the negative impacts of terrorism. However, a report prepared by Hotelivate Research presents something really insightful. The methodology of the research is quite interesting. It accounts for both international and domestic tourist variations with equal weights given to both, i.e., the higher the rank, the higher is the point obtained. To keep things simple and logical, a range of ranks are considered as follows:

Table 3

Rank

points

 

1 to 5

15

 

6 to 10

12

 

11 to 15

8

 

16 to 20

5

 

21 to 25

2

 

Above 25

0

 


State

Domestic Tourists

Rank

 

State

International Tourists

Rank

Tamil Nadu

34,38,12,413

1

 

Tamil Nadu

47,21,978

1

Uttar Pradesh

21,17,07,090

2

 

Maharashtra

46,70,049

2

Andhra Pradesh

15,31,63,354

3

 

Uttar Pradesh

31,56,812

3

Madhya Pradesh

15,04,90,339

4

 

Delhi

25,20,083

4

Karnataka

12,97,62,600

5

 

West Bengal

15,28,700

5

Maharashtra

11,65,15,801

6

 

Rajasthan

15,13,729

6

Telangana

9,51,60,830

7

 

Kerala

10,38,419

7

                 

As can be seen from the table above, the states are ranked on the basis of the tourist inflow. Now we study the ranks of the states across a time series. The variance column helps us to identify the change in the ranks of the state in that year as compared to 2016. In other words, it points out if ranks have increased or decreased in relation to 2016.

Table 4

 

 

Points Obtained

 

Rank

 

 

Variance

State

Domestic

International

Total

2017

2015

2013

2011

(15-17)

(11-17)

Tamil Nadu

15

15

30

1

1

1

1

0

0

Uttar Pradesh

15

15

30

1

1

1

1

0

0

Maharashtra

12

15

27

3

1

1

4

-2

1

West Bengal

12

15

27

3

6

5

7

3

4

Rajasthan

12

12

24

5

4

4

1

-1

-4

What is important to note from this data is that the rank of Maharashtra was significantly low in 2011 signifying that tourism had not stabilized quite so much. However, after that period, it kept improving as there were no major terrorist activities notable to hamper tourism.

The Amarnath Yatra attacks & Insurgencies in J&K: The Amarnath cave is a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir which attracts hundreds of devotees each year. This place has been a target of notorious terrorist activities quite a few times in the past. The pilgrimage was banned from 1991 to 1995 due to threats from terrorists. There followed the ‘2000 pilgrimage massacre' which claimed lives of 32 people who were on their way to Amarnath. Then there took place the 2001 and 2002 terrorist-attack massacres and the mishap of 2006 during which, fortunately, there were no casualties. It seemed as if the attacks had stopped for quite some time until the 2017 attacks hit again.

We take a time series data to analyze the trend of tourist inflow to Amarnath caves and try to relate it to the mishaps caused.

Chart 5

Directly from the data, it can be interpreted that tourist inflow has been quite irregular and has quite a lot of peaks and troughs. Stagnation in tourist visits was observed from 2001-2003. Also, there has been a considerable dip was noted after 2006 till 2008. Although beyond that, there was an absolute increase in the number of tourists, spikes were sharp and noteworthy. As can be easily linked, all the downfalls in tourist visits followed shortly after terrorist attacks and political unrest.

Now we take a look at a broader picture - the Jammu and Kashmir state as a whole:

The following is the chart representing the fatalities in Jammu and Kashmir due to terrorist activities from 1990-2018.

Chart 6

 

Source: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/states/jandk/data_sheets/annual_casualties.htm

As data shows, the terrorist activities are continuing even today:

Table 5

Fatalities in Terrorist Violence - 2018*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorist

Total

January

2

4

10

16

February

4

11

8

23

March

1

7

26

34

April

16

6

20

42

May

13

4

19

36

June

5

11

25

41

July

4

8

13

25

August

6

15

27

48

September

6

88

33

47

October

13

11

30

54

November

8

5

40

53

December

8

5

14

27

Total

86

95

265

446

We shall now focus on establishing a relationship between tourism and terrorist activities:

Table 6

Year

Arrival of Tourist

Total fatalities

2004

7806

1810

2005

24330

1739

2006

41000

1116

2007

44345

777

2008

46087

541

2009

53053

375

2010

55000

375

2011

51255

183

2012

52547

117

2013

54789

181

2014

53854

193

 

We derive the regression equation as Tourism= 57465.24-(17.57)*terrorist fatalities

Correlation coefficient: -0.944720163, i.e. there is a very strong negative correlation between the variables, which means that tourism in Jammu and Kashmir increases with a decrease in terrorist activities.

Conclusion: The empirical study shows that there is a direct negative relationship between tourism and terrorism. With this proven, it is really high time that India should focus on stabilizing political instabilities if it aims to generate more revenue from the flourishing tourism industry.

 

References

Ministry of Tourism. (2018). India Tourism Statistics At A Glance -2018. Retrieved from http://tourism.gov.in/market-research-and-statistics

Ministry of Tourism (Market Research Division). (2010) Tourism Survey for State of Maharashtra. Retrieved from the Ministry of Tourism website:http://tourism.gov.in/market-research-and-statistics

Malik, M.M., & Asima, N. (May 2014). A REVIEW OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA. Mysore.

Aasif, H. N., Ghulam, M. B., Audil R. K. (2016), Economic Impact of Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir; Indian Journal of Economics & Development Volume 4, Issue 3

Sethi A. S.,(2017). A Year After 'Surgical Strikes', Terrorist Attacks, infiltration in J&K Continue Unabated. Retireved from The Wire website: https://thewire.in/author/assethi 

Image Source: Financial Times 


 

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Written By Saptorshi Gupta

A student of economics with an inclination towards analytical research on global and domestic socio-economic conditions.

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