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.