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Pakistan's Tourism Deficit

by Patrick Appel

Laura Freschi asks why so few are paying attention to the Pakistani floods:

The difference in initial death toll reports may be one obvious explanation. The early figures for Haiti were 200,000 lives taken, compared to the 1,600 people reported to have died so far in Pakistan. But less than ten percent of the variation in amount of TV news coverage given to foreign natural disasters can be explained by severity, according to one academic study.

The same study found that one third of the variation in how much TV attention a disaster gets is explained by how popular the affected country is with US tourists. Sadly for the flood victims, Pakistan is nowhere on the list of top destinations for US travelers in Asia and the outlook’s not great: the World Economic Forum ranked Pakistan 113 out of 133 countries in its latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report.

Freschi suggests places to donate.