Title of Paper

Using Causal Mapping to Understand the Terrorism-Tourism Nexus

Presenter Bios

Dr. Sevil Sönmez is professor at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at UCF. Her research is interdisciplinary, applied, and delves broadly into tourism management and the nexus of risk, work, and health. Her research interests focus on the effects of political instability and terrorism risk on the traveling public; occupational health of tourism/hospitality sector workers; and travel/tourism health risk management. Her work incorporates complexity theory and a systems science approach to deconstruct the complex/dynamic nature of her research questions.

Ms. Jessica Wiitala, is a doctoral candidate at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at UCF. Her research examines the relationship between risk, crises, and travel and tourism--with a particular focus on the role of formal and informal forms of communication in crisis management and disaster mitigation.

Abstract

Complexity Theory (CT) has been embraced by physical and social scientists alike to help understand uncertainty and non-linearity. One of the applications of CT is in understanding how organizations adapt to their environments and changing circumstances and how they respond to conditions of uncertainty. In light of the nonlinear and dynamic nature of terrorist networks and their complex structures and public reaction to such crises, CT offers insights into how such complex and dynamic systems function and offers a new set of conceptual tools to help explain terrorism, such as causal mapping. This paper proposes the use of causal mapping to understand global events that have ushered in the new age of terrorism and to help understand the impacts of terrorism on the risk perceptions and travel decisions of the traveling public and ultimately the health of the global tourism industry.

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Using Causal Mapping to Understand the Terrorism-Tourism Nexus

Complexity Theory (CT) has been embraced by physical and social scientists alike to help understand uncertainty and non-linearity. One of the applications of CT is in understanding how organizations adapt to their environments and changing circumstances and how they respond to conditions of uncertainty. In light of the nonlinear and dynamic nature of terrorist networks and their complex structures and public reaction to such crises, CT offers insights into how such complex and dynamic systems function and offers a new set of conceptual tools to help explain terrorism, such as causal mapping. This paper proposes the use of causal mapping to understand global events that have ushered in the new age of terrorism and to help understand the impacts of terrorism on the risk perceptions and travel decisions of the traveling public and ultimately the health of the global tourism industry.