I am going to Europe.
They want us to be terrorized. If Americans start to cower behind oceans and a wall, the bad guys win.
If they take away our freedom to travel, the bad guys win.
If the bombings in Europe destroy the continent’s tourism industry, the bad guys win.
People are right to be scared, we must be more proactive about soft targets, including “front of the house airport security”—but we must not let fear change us, or stop us from traveling.
Every single act of terrorism must be responded to with an affirmation of defiance that the terrorists will not succeed.
We must stand in solidarity with the people of Europe and that we cannot be divided by fanatics who kill innocent civilians.
Americans should show ISIS that however many of us they strike, they will not change our way of life.
Some of our customers have canceled their trips to Europe. Others have called nervously and wanted to discuss travel insurance. This is Ok. Some airlines are offering to rebook flights with no penalties.
But what I tell passengers is, look at the odds: the real risk of death from terrorism is infinitesimal.
As President Obama is fond of telling his staff, more Americans will be killed in a bathtub accident (464) this year than have ever been killed by terrorists in Europe.
“The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives,” Obama said about the attacks. He was traveling in Cuba when the attacks in Brussels happened. The symbolism of Obama addressing the world on from such a historically loaded backdrop as Cuba should not be lost on us: this is a time to be boldly taking down barriers, not putting up walls.
We must put these attacks in perspective and not let the hysteria that follows be used to manipulate voters.
Americans should not curtail their plans to go to Europe. The continent needs us now, more than ever.
Their tourism industry has taken an immediate hit. Since the bombings in Brussels, hotel occupancy has dropped to 67% in Paris, and 58% in London.
April in Paris is wonderful. Sounds like a great time to travel to me. Empty hotels mean no crowds. I’ll get reservations at the best restaurants, and travel prices are dirt cheap.
Contact: Blake Fleetwood, CEO of Cook Travel
specializing in discount travel to overseas destinations