This article examines the effect of terrorism, crime and corruption on tourist arrivals for 171 countries for the period 1995–2013. We apply two types of analysis: a tourism demand model and a disaggregation of tourism arrivals by origin. The findings of the tourism demand model are that terrorism and crime have a negative effect on tourist arrivals but that corruption has no effect; that the effects of terrorism and crime are greater for leisure tourism than for business tourism but that corruption affects only business tourism; and that the effects of terrorism, crime and corruption depend on the attractiveness of the destination country and its level of development. The data on tourist arrivals disaggregated by origin are used to study the effects of instability in the destination and the origin country and to compare the instability measures of the two countries. Here the findings are that terrorism, crime and corruption in the destination country have a negative effect on inbound tourism but that instability in the origin country has no clear effect on tourist departures; and that tourists from stable countries prefer travelling to countries with the same stability but tourists from unstable countries are more tolerant of crime, terrorism and corruption in the destination country.