The travel industry needs advice about how it should support tourism in destinations following natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
Panellists agreed it was very hard to get the balance right between the urge to support the destination and looking like you are taking advantage of a dangerous or tragic situation.
Advantage managing director Julia Lo Bue-Said (pictured) said: “Take what happened in Tunisia. We all desperately want to bring tourism back in. But it feels wrong. How do you do it with empathy?”
Tim Williamson, content and marketing director at Responsible Travel, said despite the operator’s ethos it drew some criticism for promoting Nepal trips after the devastating earthquake last April.
“We were running appeals, but we also went out and said the best way to support Nepal is to book for the next trekking season,” he said.
“Our view is tourism can be such a force for good that the quicker you get it back the better.
“Look at Paris: tourism is such a lifeline for a city like that.”
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