Research: Safety weighs on holidaymakers’ minds

Research: Safety weighs on holidaymakers’ minds

Survey confirms safety concerns amid rising holiday demand. Ian Taylor reports

Safety is “at the forefront of Britons’ minds” when planning holidays this year, according to a recent consumer survey.

Research among 1,000 UK adults by BDRC Continental identified “a bullish holiday outlook”, with nine out of 10 Britons planning a trip this year and 77% a break of four nights or more.

However, it suggests 77% view safety as “a consideration” and 40% “a strong consideration”, leading BDRC to conclude: “Safety concerns remain at the forefront of Britons’ minds when planning their holidays.”

The study found Istanbul rated “the least safe city destination”.

More than half (55%) of respondents rated Istanbul unsafe and two-thirds (67%) of these “would not go regardless of price”.

Paris was rated unsafe by 27%, Berlin by 20% and London by 10%.

Just 13% judged Istanbul to be “fairly safe”, compared with 23% a year ago, and only 1% anticipated taking a holiday in Turkey this year compared with 4% in a survey last January.

Fewer than two in five (37%) perceived Paris as safe, the same proportion as a year ago, but the survey found a year-on-year decline of four percentage points to 12% in Britons intending to take a short break in France.

The findings suggest most UK adults expect “at least some disruption to their EU holiday behaviour as a result of Brexit”.

Two in five (43%) expect a less favourable exchange rate – a recognition of what has already happened since the Brexit vote.

One-third (36%) anticipate “more expensive air travel”, although average air fares within Europe have fallen and are forecast to continue to fall, and 36% also anticipate a future need for visas when travelling to EU countries.

Three out of ten (31%) expect longer passport queues at airports, and 28% foresee reduced health cover for UK travellers in the EU as a consequence of Brexit.

Just 13% expect no changes, with the findings leading BDRC to suggest: “A ‘hard’ Brexit may drive holidaymakers to holiday in the UK.”

The study found nine out of 10 Britons are “seriously considering” a holiday in 2017, “with an anticipated increase in longer holidays abroad and in the UK”.

Three out of five respondents (61%) said they were planning an overseas holiday of four or more nights, three percentage points up on a year ago, and 50% an overseas short break.

The proportion intending to take a UK domestic holiday of four nights or more was also up three percentage points on a year ago, to 27%.

The anticipated increase in holiday demand was despite almost half the respondents (48%) expressing concern about the UK economy and 15% being “very concerned”.

BDRC also noted: “80% expect to spend more or the same on their holidays” as last year.

Just 2% said they expect to stay in homestay accommodation such as Airbnb on a holiday or short break this year.

BDRC Continental interviewed 1,006 UK adults online in January.

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