British holidaymakers increasingly concerned over terror attacks

British holidaymakers increasingly concerned over terror attacks

Worries over terrorism are on the increase among British holidaymakers, with one-third more travellers now concerned about an attack than they were a year ago, according to research released today (Monday 6 November) at World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry.

Last year, slightly more than a third of respondents who took part in the World Travel Market 2016 Industry Report survey said they were concerned about the threat of a terror attack while on holiday. This year, the figure has increased to more than half of respondents.

The World Travel Market 2017 Industry Report reveals 52% of British holidaymakers who had a holiday this year are concerned about terrorism, with 14% of those saying they are extremely concerned.

Last year’s data revealed 38% had concerns over terror attacks, with 9% admitting to being ‘extremely concerned’.

The number of stoical Brits who say they are ‘not concerned at all’ has dropped from four out of ten last year to 27% in 2017. For the latest research, a further 21% said they were ‘not very concerned’.

Year-on-year, the number of British holidaymakers now concerned to some degree about terror attacks has jumped 37%, while the number who admit to being extremely concerned has increased by 55%.

With a number of high-profile attacks this year – including those in Manchester, London and Barcelona – there have been smaller-scale incidents in France, Canada and Sweden, among many other destinations, meaning the subject of terrorism never stays out of the news for long.

2017 also brought back to the fore the 2015 Sousse terror attack, when the inquest into the deaths of Britons who were among 38 holidaymakers killed by a lone gunman got underway. The inquest started in January and was reported in detail over the next seven weeks, culminating in the Coroner recording a verdict of unlawful killing.

Terrorism remains the number-one concern for British holidaymakers, far higher than other travel worries, such as natural disasters and the refugee crisis, both of which are of concern for 38% of respondents, and political instability, a concern for 35% of travellers.

Terror attacks also continue to have the number-one impact on travel businesses, yet the number of industry executives who said it has impacted their business has actually dropped by four percentage points over the last year,

Almost three quarters (72%) of top industry executives taking part in the World Travel Market 2017 Industry Report said terrorism had impacted their businesses, with 26% reporting a ‘significant’ impact and 46% ‘some’ impact, while 28% reported no impact.

Last year, 76% of key industry executives said terrorism has impacted their business in the previous 12 months, with one in three reporting terrorism had a ‘significant’ impact and 43% saying it had ‘some’ impact. One-quarter (24%) said terrorism had had no impact at all.

The terror impact is higher on businesses than Brexit and other worldwide challenges. Over half of respondents say Brexit has impacted their business, with 12% saying Brexit has had a significant effect.

The refugee crisis has impacted 34% of executives’ businesses, with 7% reporting a ‘significant’ impact; health scares such as the Zika virus have impacted 33% of businesses, with 7% significantly; 44% of executives say they have been impacted by travel company failures (6% significantly); 40% have been affected by industrial action (6% significantly), while 25% say their business has been affected by false sickness claims.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson, said: “When we looked at last year’s findings, it was reassuring that, despite several high-profile attacks, the fears of terrorism had not actually increased over 2015 figures.

“Worryingly, more high-profile and frequent attacks in the past 12 months seem to have dented holidaymakers’ confidence, with the result that one-third more holidaymakers than last year are worried about terrorism, with the number who are extremely concerned up 55% on last year.

“Tourism is hugely important to breaking down barriers and making the world a better place. Promoting safe and secure travel is now absolutely crucial and the challenge of encouraging tourism and keeping travellers safe is one of key issues that will be hotly debate during World Travel Market 2017.”


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The five events are;


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.


International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.


World Travel Market Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.


World Travel Market Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.


About Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.


About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.


About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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