The fear of terrorism is of such concern for holidaymakers that four in 10 couldn’t totally relax on holiday this year because they were worried about an attack, reveals the World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report, released today (Monday 2 November) at World Travel Market London.
Of the Brits who went abroad this year, 22% said they were ‘very concerned’ and 18% said they were ‘quite concerned’ about an attack while away.
The fear of terrorism is cited as a key reason for choosing a ‘staycation’ in 2015. Of those who holidayed in the UK during 2015, 61% of Brits said the terrorism threat was an important factor in their decision.
Only cost and forecasted good UK weather were seen as being more influential in the decision to holiday at home, with affordability cited by 91% and the weather cited by 82% as being important factors.
In addition to fears of terrorism in resorts, UK holidaymakers also worried about the influx of refugees or asylum seekers in their holiday destination, with 35% admitting this was a concern in the past year. Just less than a third (30%) said they were concerned about political instability and 25% were concerned about natural disasters when travelling abroad.
Surprisingly, despite admitting to worries, the vast majority of holidaymakers surveyed (77%) said they did not consult Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance when choosing a destination. Ten per cent said they consulted the FCO advice but it didn’t influence their decision. Only 12% said they consulted the Government department’s guidance and acted on it.
In light of recent incidents, such as the June terror attack in Tunisia, when 38 British holidaymakers died, there have been calls for the tourism sector to be given more of an influence on Government advice for travellers. The World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report reveals 86% of senior managers in the industry hold that view.
The majority of decision makers in the industry (90%) also believe the tourism industry has a responsibility towards countries that face external pressures, be they terror-related (such as Tunisia) or economic (such as Greece).
The report reveals 68% of travel companies have evaluated or taken action on security and resilience within their business as a result of recent terrorist attacks.
Amid all the worry, there does seem to be some opportunity for the trade to claw back bookings lost to the do-it-yourself market. In the past year, 57% of customers booked a DIY holiday, while 43% booked online or with an agent. The World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report reveals 71% of industry respondents believe concerns over incidents abroad are likely to sway holidaymakers towards booking packages through the trade.
World Travel Market London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “The travel industry is going through a testing time and, although terrorist attacks are rare, the fact is that fear, uncertainty and risk all play a part in holidaymakers’ decisions nowadays.
“The challenge for travel companies and tourist destinations is to be able to reassure customers that they are as prepared as possible to deal with a terrorism attack, are able to react swiftly, with clients’ safety the prime concern.”
More than 1,000 UK holidaymakers were polled.
About World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
World Travel Market Events
World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.
The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.
In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.
WTM is part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.