Brexit aftermath and safety concerns changing how Britons holiday

New research from global travel deals publisher Travelzoo has revealed the falling value of the pound, combined with concerns over security, are having a direct impact on travel within Europe this half term. Brexit-WTM

Although a third of Britons are planning a half term break next week, a quarter admit they are avoiding Europe.

The Travelzoo Autumn 2016 Travel Trends survey also explores consumer sentiment around security measures, with a quarter of Britons saying they have noticed extra security measures when travelling this year and over half saying they are prepared to undergo further security checks to improve security. Half say they’re happy to give up biometric data, such as fingerprints and eye retina scans, while 28% are willing to accept longer queues and delays, in exchange for improved security.

The UK consumer appetite for holidays remains stable, and hotspots such as Spain and France continue to be the favoured European holiday destinations. Other key trends from the survey show the growing popularity of long-haul, with Canada named the second most popular destination for Britons this October half term.

When asked about the impact of recent events on their destination choice, 41% say they are now actively avoiding destinations impacted by terrorist attacks, 34% say they are more likely to holiday in the UK, while 11% say they are more likely to holiday all-inclusive when travelling to Europe in order to safeguard themselves whilst the pound continues to be unstable.

Travelzoo’s European president and industry commentator, Richard Singer, said: “As we approach the last few months of 2016 we can see many factors are influencing where British consumers wish to travel to. The situation right now could be described as a ‘perfect storm.’  We have increased pressure on the price of European holidays caused by the falling value of the pound, combined with two of the key affordable winter sun destinations (Sharm el-Sheikh and Tunisia) continuing to be off the menu for British holiday makers.  Looking outside Europe destinations popular with Britons continue to suffer from the impact of Zika virus. When we put all of these factors together it’s understandable that consumers more than ever need guidance on where to book their next holiday.

“Speaking to the many travel companies Travelzoo works with, we know October half term bookings have been fairly stable. However, there is definitely concern in the market about Christmas and February half term where we expect to see the true impact of Brexit and other global events.  We predict the Canaries will maintain their status as the top destination, but consumers should bear in mind there are other destinations that could offer better value in the coming months.  Gibraltar, Jordan, Muscat, Morocco, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the surrounding UAE states are all looking strong in terms of value for money right now.”

When it comes to Europe and the Brexit negotiations, Singer said, “Regarding the falling value of the pound we are already seeing an increase in demand for all-inclusive European holidays. In order to regain some stability in the region, we urge Theresa May to provide reassurance that travel negotiations with Europe – particularly around the EHIC card and European open air space – are high on the agenda.”

KEY FINDINGS

A third (31%) of Britons are willing to pay at least 5% more for their holidays – one in ten (10%) would pay 10% more – if it meant there were extra security when travelling abroad

Over half (57%) do not believe it is acceptable for travellers to pay a premium to avoid/ skip security

When it comes to travel destinations for Britons this half term, the survey shows Spain is still the top foreign destination, followed by Canada, France and Australia.

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