Travel experts say that people are still travelling to the United States despite the high-incidences of gun related violence in the country. On Sunday, Steven Craig Paddock opened fire at almost 22 000 concert goers, allegedly from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Around 58 people were killed and over 500 injured.
Last year American citizen Omar Mateen, who pledged to the Islamic State, killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Andrew Stark, Managing Director (MEA) for Flight Centre Travel Group said travel to the US is as per normal and Las Vegas McCarran Airport’s operations have resumed.
“People value America as a top tourist and business destination as there is much to do, see and experience. Although the US has seen an increase in gun-related incidents, and in some instances an increase in terrorism concerns, we have not seen a significant drop in travellers planning to visit the country.
“The US is a vast country and despite concerning incidences, these affect a very tiny proportion of the greater country and of the vast number of cities, towns and tourist hotspots across the United States,” he said.
Owner of Travel Savvy, Jennifer Morris, believes travel to the US is as safe as going to any part of the West.
“Tragic incidents like the attack on concert goers in Las Vegas are, thankfully, quite rare. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that large crowds are the target for this sort of terrorism.
“I think travelling to the USA is as safe as travelling anywhere is the West. However, I do recommend that travellers avoid large crowds in both the USA and Europe at the moment,” she said.
Attempts to contact the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in South Africa proved unsuccessful.