False missile alarm in Hawaii drops tourists’ perception of security

The archipelago’s visitors took 10 days to recover the feeling of security previous to the panic caused by the erroneous message from the emergency center. 

There was no missile, but panic over a possible imminent bombing harmed Hawaii’s touristic image. The alarm over a ballistic missile launched by North Korea, issued last January 13 from Hawaii Emergency Management Agency headquarters, in Honolulu, caused a drastic fall in tourist´ security perception, according to data collected by Mabrian® in its Perceived Security index (PSi).

 The official denial of Kim Jong-un’s alleged attack on one of the Pacific Islands came 38 minutes after the initial message. 24 hours later, the president, Donald Trump, publicly qualified the alarm as an error.

In touristic terms, the Korean ballistic missile’s false alarm over Hawaii caused a fall of the tourists’ security perception in the destination on the 13th, reaching the rock-bottom during the days after the alert. It wasn’t until 10 days after, that the PSi recovered, rising to the same values as the days before the notice.

From all the most important touristic markets for the archipelago, the Canadians were the most sensitive to this incident, reaching its perceived security index a score of 0 from 100.

The USA tourists  immediately reacted too, reducing its PSi down to 2 points from 100, although its rhythm of confidence recovery was faster than the Canadians’, as reflected in the PSi evolution graph.

In the final analysis of January 2018, the PSi reached 77,9 points, while during the same period from the previous year it reached 93,69 points from 100. There was also an increase in the volume of touristic mentions during those days, that reached 18.400 mentions/day, being the average 11.000 mentions/day. In total, more than 147 million mentions about Hawaii have been analysed for this study, only in January.

This information can help touristic and business managers of a destination to channel better the communication after an event of these characteristics, and recover security or climate perception as soon as possible.

Mabrian®  Travel Intelligence platform allows to identify and measure in real time the impact of security or climate events, among other indicators by the analysis of Big Data. The monitoring of the users’ reactions and the analysis of their comments on networks through  Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies, shows how a specific fact affects the security perception of visitors or potential visitors, and allows to compare the different recover trends depending on the origin markets.


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