Terrorism the biggest fear for global travellers

Fear of terrorism is the main reason travellers avoid certain destinations, a new report has revealed.

In its “How Global Voices Shape Travel Choices: The Impact of Consumer Apprehension on Travel Intention,” study, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and AIG Travel found that one in four travellers has changed their holiday plans in the past year due to global or local safety, security or health concerns. It also found that islands are considered the safest places to visit.

An armed soldier stands next to the Eiffel Tower following the Paris attacks (photo by onickz)
An armed soldier stands next to the Eiffel Tower following the Paris attacks (photo by onickz)

Terrorism activity (indicated by 77% of the 2,000 global respondents) tops the list of reasons tourists will avoid travel to certain destinations, followed by military conflict or fighting (59%), outbreak of disease or health risks (46%), high incidence of crime (25%) and political upheaval (25%).

Almost half (43%) of survey participants said they have purchased travel insurance due to safety concerns, and 80% indicated that they are likely to consider buying emergency medical coverage for future travel.

Reflecting growing anxiety levels, nearly three quarters (74%) expect to add trip cancellation insurance, nearly half (47%) will consider political or emergency evacuation policies, and 42% are thinking about coverage that provides accidental death benefits.

Topping the list of the most desirable and safe destinations are Australia and New Zealand, as well as islands in the Pacific and Western Europe. More than 62% of travellers said they would like to visit Australia and New Zealand, two countries which have a zero rate of travel concern or anxiety.

This compares to 10% or less who want to visit North, Central or West Africa and the Middle East. Twenty percent however, said they were keen on visiting Southern Africa.

In terms of travel planning, more than half (55%) of respondents said they relied on official travel advisories for information about safety and security, while 36% trust information from news media and travel journalists. This is ahead of advice from friends and family (34%), travel rating sites (25%) and social media networks (17%).

More than half of the survey respondents were from North America, with others residing in Europe and Asia Pacific.

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