The impact of terrorist attacks on Polish tourist demand

Source: PZOT  – Merlin X (Sabre)

The sale of  tour packages, after two years of continuous growth, has turned decisively negative in the first months of the new year[1].  The number of packages sold is decreased by 7.8%. This figure doesn't cancel the increases of the previous two years but  it is, anyway, a very sensitive.

The chart below shows  the week when the trend of sales is become negative: exactly a week later to the terrorist attack occurred in Paris.


From the 16th of November, infact, the demand for organized tourism has never reached the levels of last year as the graph demonstrates by comparing the curve (which represents the 2015 data) with the histograms (which indicate the data of the present year).

The decrease of the tourist demand hasn't affected proportionally the destination countries but it is concentrated on some of them.


It's easy  to detect that all the countries of the southern Mediterranean have heavily suffered  the fall in demand flows: Turkey -73%, Egypt -74% and even if it hasen’t been affected by terrorist attacks a negative impact is suffered by Marocco as well. Tunisia, it is even disappeared from the list of the top 20 destinations of Polish tourism.

The European countries benefit largely of these new vacation choices. Poland itself enters in the list of top 20 countries, destinations of organized tourism.

The list of target locations helps to figure out better this new scenario.


The first table indicates Spain as first destination country, actually we should have said the Canary Islands. As we see, only the resorts of this archipelag are the favorite destinations of Poles. The lone exception is Barcelona.

Positive is the performance of Greek islands with the exception of Kos, which probably pays its involvement in migrants path. Interesting is that Italy, despite being on the fourth place, has no destination flags, probably the Poles prefer to spread themselves in the country. The serious crisis of Egypt has made to disappear Sharm El Sheik from the list of the top 20 destinations.

The decrease of organized tourism demand, I think it is not due to structural reasons, but to the instability of the Muslim countries of the Mediterranean. This has pushed the tourists interested in these destinations, which were still leader on the Polish market, to delay the holiday choice or to look for new destinations.

Some countries have already taken advantage of this situation: first of all Spain but also Bulgaria and Italy. It will be interesting to see in the coming months as the situation will evolve. We will keep informed.

Author: Gilberto Zangari

Feel free to report the previous post but please quotes: OUTgoing POLAND, The Polish Tourist Workshop

[1] With regard to data provided by Merlin x (Sabre), the year does not coincide with the solar calendar, but begins in mid-October and ends twelve months later, again in mid-October.