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Terrorism has become the number-one concern among holidaymakers. Ian Taylor reports on the latest consumer research
UK adults planning a holiday abroad now rate the risk of terrorism in destination their biggest concern while travelling.
TNS research for Travel Weekly has found more than one in three (35%) of adults planning an overseas holiday are concerned about terrorist attacks while away, and more than half (53%) would change destination or cancel their holiday in the event of a terror incident “in or near” their holiday destination.
Two out of four holidaymakers (39%) said they “would go to another destination” and one in seven (14%) would postpone their holiday.
A further one in three (32%) said they would be concerned but not change their plans.
Fewer than one in 10 (7%) expressed no concerns.
The survey of 1,200-plus UK adults was conducted by consumer research firm TNS in March.
The figures reflecting concern about destinations and holidaymakers’ responses refer solely to those planning an overseas holiday this year or next.
The findings contrast with a TNS survey for Travel Weekly in October 2014 which found one in five (21%) might change their holiday plans because of concerns about personal safety in a destination. Rates of concern about health issues such as a disease outbreak in a destination barely changed between the 2014 survey (13%) and last month (12%).
In the latest survey, older holidaymakers (37%) and those with young children (38%) displayed a higher rate of concern about terrorism than younger travellers aged 16-24 (28%). There was also a higher rate of concern among women holidaymakers (38%) than men (31%).
Terror attacks were the greatest concern among all age groups except 16 to 24-year-olds, who were slightly more concerned about losing their money or passport while away. Falling ill while abroad was the only concern to come near to terrorism among older adults.
The findings also suggest a higher rate of concern about attacks among travellers from better-off households (36%) than among those less well off (32%). However, there appeared no difference based on the frequency of holidays planned, with those expecting to take a single holiday just as likely to express concern as those intending to travel more frequently (35%).
The rate of those who would cancel or postpone a holiday or switch destination was sharply higher than average among families with young children (65%) and also higher among those better off (56%).
Younger adults appeared least likely to change their travel plans. Despite 89% saying they would be concerned about a terror incident in a destination they were due to visit, 41% of the 16-24 age group would not change their holiday.
The proportion of all prospective holidaymakers concerned about a terror incident in their holiday destination was 85%.TNS surveyed 1,219 UK adults aged 16-plus online in March. The figures above refer to 698 respondents (57% of the total) who intend to take a holiday in 2016 or 2017. A further 23% were undecided and their views are not reflected in the results.
Safety issues in Turkey and Egypt deter over half Brits
More than half of UK consumers planning holidays abroad say safety concerns have put them off travelling to Turkey.
A survey of more than 1,200 UK adults in March by research firm TNS found almost 700 planning an overseas holiday this year or next. Of these, 55% said they were “less likely than 12 months ago” to consider a holiday to Turkey. Only Egypt ranked more highly as a destination to avoid, with 60% saying they were less likely to visit this year than last.
Turkey has a seen a spate of bombings in recent months, including in Istanbul. Women appear more anxious about visiting Turkey than men, with 59% voicing reluctance against 51% of male respondents. The rate was near half or above in all age groups, in all regions and across income groups. However, there was a 10-point gap between adults with children who expressed concern (48%) and those without (58%).
Opinions were more divided on Egypt and Morocco, with a 27-point gap in confidence between younger and older adults despite an overall concern rate of 60% among those planning a holiday, and a higher rate among the better off (63%) than those on lower incomes (55%).
More than one in three holidaymakers (36%) expressed concern about Morocco, although the country has not seen an attack on tourists since 2011. Fewer than one in five 16 to 24‑year‑olds showed concern about the country, but a third or more of 25 to 54-year-olds and half of those over 54 did so.
Morocco attracted more concern among better-off holidaymakers (40%) than the less affluent (31%), as did Egypt (63% against 55%).
One in five (22%) expressed concern about travel to Paris following the attacks last November, but with older adults less concerned than the young. Paris was the only destination to attract greater concern among adults with young children (28%) than those without (22%).
Perhaps surprisingly, one in five holidaymakers (21%) identified Dubai as a destination they were “less likely to consider” because of security concerns.
2016 intentions: Quarter of adults still undecided
Almost one in four UK adults remained undecided about their holiday plans for 2016 last month.
A TNS survey on behalf of Travel Weekly found more than half (52%) had booked or taken an overseas holiday or short break this year or planned to take one, with a further 23% not yet decided. Just 25% of respondents said they definitely would not or were unlikely to have a holiday abroad in 2016.
The highest undecided rate (28%) was among the 45-54 age group, while 30% of 35 to 44-year-olds and of over-55s said it was likely they would have no holiday.
Adults with children appear more likely to plan a holiday than adults without – 60% of those with children aged six to 15 doing so compared with 49% of those without children.
But younger adults appear most likely to be planning a trip abroad, with almost two-thirds (64%) saying they would take one or more holidays overseas this year. About two in five of those intending to take an overseas holiday (21% of all respondents) said they would travel abroad more than once.
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