Forget notions of bargain summer holidays and last-minute deals – safety has now become the dominant priority shaping people’s overseas holiday plans for the months ahead. With 66% of Brits still considering a holiday abroad, new AllClear research from specialist travel insurance provider, AllClear, reveals the COVID-19 safety record of a country, the resort and proximity to good medical services abroad have soared to become the crucial decisions that are framing overseas travel decisions.
Following the government’s re-introduction of quarantine rules – and the risk of additional countries joining the quarantine list – AllClear surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 British adults in the last week to get an up-to-date picture of the UK traveller mindset. The research shows that the majority of people intend to travel in the months ahead, but well-being and safety issues now dominate the priority list.
The top two priorities for those considering a trip abroad revolved around firstly picking a country that had a good record for COVID-19 safety (44%) and secondly assessing the likely risk of a country going back into lockdown (42%). There were also concerns about safe travel, with social distancing on flights now more important (39%) and 29% of people wanting the comfort that airports would be safe to pass through. Thinking about a stay abroad, the state of the health service in the host country (36%) was also a more important consideration.
Given the seismic shift in focus towards well-being and safety issues on holiday, the research also noted a growing number of UK consumers were no longer looking for cheap insurance, but quality cover that fully protected them from COVID-19 risks. Overall, 36% of respondents said that having the best possible insurance that would fully cover them for COVID-19 risks was now a top priority when considering a holiday abroad.
By age group, the over 55s were more likely to pick a destination based on its perceived COVID-19 safety record (56% vs. 28% of those under 34). The over 55s were also most likely to want the best insurance cover that fully covered them for a wide range of COVID-19 risks (51%).
Chris Rolland, CEO of AllClear said: “Despite the re-introduction of quarantine restrictions, many people still want to travel in the months ahead. Particularly among the over 50s, the reasons for travel can be wide-ranging. It is also interesting to note the beginnings of a sea-change in people’s attitudes towards travel insurance, with quality taking price off the table.”