The U.S.State Department issued a Travel Alert for Europe, citing „credible information“ that „the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qaeda and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.“
The alert, which is effective immediately and expires on February 20, 2017 references terrorist attacks that have occured over the past year in Belgium, France, Germany and Turkey, but warns that travelers should take precautions throught Europe.
The advisory specifically asks tourists to „Exercise caution“ at holiday related festivals, events and popular outdoor Christmas markets that fill city squares across the continent. It recommends avoiding large crowds and remaining vigilant when visiting popular tourist sites and taking public transportation – two potential terrorist targets.
The alert is the first issued for Europe since similar continent – wide one was posted his past summer.
Data reveals that the threat of terrorism has had a noticeable effect on tourist numbers in the region.
Paris has seen a 12,8% decline in US travellers, Istanbul has fallen 60,2%, Brussels, 19,6. Other European destinatins as well such as Vienna 17,5%, Zurich 11,7%, Amsterdam 30,8 and Budapest 16,1%.
As always, I firmly believe that fear should not get inthe way of travel, but being aware of danger cango a long way.