The United States has issued a travel alert aimed at those thinking of visiting Europe, warning them of the risk of potential terrorist attacks “throughout” the continent.
On the face of it this seems odd. No one denies that the threat of terrorism in Europe is real – France is still operating under a state of emergency following the Paris attacks – so it seems reasonable to point out concerns. But is it useful to apply an alert to an entire continent?
While the purpose of these travel ‘alerts’ is not to advise people to reconsider whether to travel in the first place (that is the job of the State Department’s more strident travel ‘warnings’), for the European superyacht industry, which benefits from many US clients in their waters, the increased hype over the situation may be starting to have an impact over cruising habits.
“We have seen a decline in clients interest in Turkey as well as Greece, which is a real shame, but overall the market has still been very busy as those clients tended to relocate to the western Mediterranean, western Greece or Croatia,” observes Barbara Dawson, senior charter broker at Camper & Nicholsons.
“With this particular alert that covers a large area, it is unlikely to deter many of our clients but will make them aware, which is exactly the purpose of the alerts. Unfortunately, being diligent and alert is part of our daily lives no matter where you are traveling.”
“Anyone worried would find a yacht charter a safer way to vacation.”
Nick Burleigh, broker at Edmiston reinforces the fact that US clients will not be deterred from visiting Europe. “I have US clients chartering here and have had no mention from any in regard to being put off by potential terror attacks,” he says. “Anyone worried would find a yacht charter a safer way to vacation.”
While this particular alert is unlikely to have a direct impact on US superyacht clients cruising or chartering in Europe, it is evidence of the building anxiety in the country over possible threats this side of the pond. This summer has already seen several migration patterns emerge as superyachts avoid Turkey and other areas of concern, and this looks set to increase as the unrest continues.