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Title: Political upheavals, tourism flight, and spillovers: the case of the Arab Spring
Authors: Groizard, José L. 
Ismael, Mohanad 
Santana-Gallego, María 
Keywords: Tourism - Arab countries - Political aspects;Political stability - Arab countries;International tourism - Arab countries - Political aspects
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Journal of Travel Research
Abstract: This article exploits the Arab Spring, which occurred in 2011, as a natural experiment to study the effect of political upheavals on international travel. We find that foreign tourists’ demand to travel to countries experiencing Arab Spring episodes was sharply reduced and persisted after two years. We also find evidence of two different spillover effects: a tourism diversion to rest of the world, and a regional contagion to geographically nearby countries (other Arab countries that did not experience Arab Spring episodes and the Mediterranean region, although with heterogeneous effects across individual countries). To disentangle how spillovers are channeled, we test whether geographical and cultural (Islamic) affinity play any role. We find that diversion is explained by the attitudes of Western tourists but not of those whose origin is Arabic. Furthermore, we find that the contagion caused by the Arab Spring is stronger for the nearest Muslim countries.
DOI: 10.1177/00472875211002652
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