The impact of the Fall of Afghanistan on the World Travel and Tourism industry

Its conquest greatly increases not only the Taliban’s prestige but that of numerous other terrorism and insurgency groups around the world.  

From this perspective, the conquest of Kabul, and by extension Afghanistan, is a symbol for anyone who opposes European and American influence and power of what they perceive as the west’s long road to self-destruction.  This symbolism is especially powerful as the Taliban captured Kabul just a few weeks prior to the twentieth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

 The fact the Taliban flag now flies over the former U.S. embassy speaks volumes to people throughout the developing world.  

The symbolism throughout much of the Middle East and the nations of the Silk Roads could not be more poignant.  Due to the United States and its allies abandoning the Bagram airfield some of twenty years after the attacks on New York and Washington, Westerners, and their Afghan allies are reduced to imploring the Taliban for safe passage to the only airport out of which they can fly to safety.  Tourism has long been an industry in which many women have held prominent positions. 

Women in a Taliban dominated Afghanistan are sure to lose even their most basic rights.  Women’s groups around the world not only worry about the safety and freedom of Afghan women but also have noted the silence of the first US female president. As of August 19th, Vice president Harris has not made a public pronouncement regarding the state of insecurity in which millions of women now find themselves.

From the perspective of the United States and Europe, the fall of Kabul could not have come at a worse time. Western national economies are reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The United States (and much of Europe) is suffering from inflation caused by over-spending. This overspending first occurred during the Obama administration, then continued during the Trump administration and has now greatly increased during the current Biden administration. 

The fact that the United States is spending trillions of dollars of money that it does not have means that the nation is less able to deal with international crises and potential military threats. Additionally, the woke-cancel culture (seen in much of the world as mere political rot or social decay ) means that the west’s focus is on inconsequential internal matters rather than on economic and political threats. 

Perhaps nothing speaks to this internal weakness and its impact on tourism more than the US-Mexico border crisis. This crisis should not be seen as separate from the fall of Kabul.  As perhaps almost two million illegal immigrants cross the US-Mexico border, the nation’s border patrol is overwhelmed and understaffed. 

Not only do refugees cross this border but many of them are ill with Covid and none are vetted.  How many coming into the US, and now once again Europe, maybe stealth terrorists is unknown. 

As crime increases tourism will once again suffer.  Border control agents may also feel the impact of COVID-19. Many of whose agents are now sick with Covid. 

What we do not as yet know is how many unvetted migrants may also be part of terrorist sleeper cells that can be turned against nations in Europe and the United States and creating another 9-11 tourism crisis.  

Possible implications of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan

It is of course too soon to realize the full extent of the consequences of the Taliban victory not only on world politics but also on tourism.

We should remember that tourism is a by-product of the world’s political situation.  Although tourism promotes peace, it also needs peace in order to thrive or merely survive.  Wars, human rights violations, illnesses, and natural disasters all dissuade visitors from coming to a specific location.

Below are some of the things that the tourism industry might expect from the poorly executed US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

  1. Although few would argue that after a twenty-year war and the loss of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives it was time to leave, the US withdrawal’s poor execution will be seen as American weakness and ineptitude around the world.  Major politicians from US allies such as the United Kingdom and Germany have called this NATO’s greatest military defeat and wonder about the US resolve to be a world leader.
  2. Both China and Russia will applaud the Taliban’s victory and will see the western nations defeat as a way to control the regions natural resources.
  3. The overspending on the part of the current US administration means greater dependency on China and the US government’s inability to stand up to the Chinese. This in turn will lead to an eventual lowering of western standards of living and a pulling back of expendable income expenses such as tourism.
  4. The control of major resources by the Taliban can easily translate into acts of well-funded terrorism around the world and especially against the tourism industry
  5. We should expect to see new outbreaks of violence around the world. China might well attack Taiwan and seek dominance over the entire eastern Pacific region. Tourism in this region can become totally dominated by the Chinese and countries such as North Korea might become emboldened to act in a reckless manner.
  6. Latin American nations such as Venezuela might see the Taliban victory and potential largess as reasons to export revolution to other Latin American nations, thus causing a decline in tourism
  7. The West’s ability to deal with Iran will be weakened and we should not be surprised to see the Taliban terrorist state collaborate with Iranian hardliners, especially in the face of weak US administration
  8. Europe should expect an increase in unvetted refugees who will continue to make Europe less safe and less attractive to visitors.  The result will be a decline in European living standards and quality of life.
  9. Due to an unprotected southern border, the US might well suffer from higher rates of communitive diseases and a post-Taliban national malaise. Even if there is not a repeat of terrorism due to the open border policies now in place, tourism might well suffer from the US

Even if there is not a repeat of terrorism due to the open border policies now in place, tourism might well suffer from the US population’s continual loss of faith in government.


Filed Under: TourismTerrorismcovid-19

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