Will the U.S. realize the benefit of schadenfreude? Will fearful or skittish Brits forsake holiday spots in Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa for the USA? A new Travelzoo survey indicates that half of British travelers are avoiding traditionally popular winter sun hotspots in favor of “safer” destinations as a result of terror attacks and the migrant crisis. Specifically, the survey of 2,000 UK adults showed that:
—More than half (54 percent) surveyed blamed recent terrorist attacks and the migrant crisis for decreasing their willingness to travel abroad.
—Fifty one percent said it was the immigrant crises now affecting Europe for reducing their willingness.
—The traditionally popular winter destinations of Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Greece and Thailand are now the places that UK consumers are most afraid to visit.
—Britons felt most secure travelling to the Canary Islands, the Caribbean and Australia for a winter sun holiday this year.
—Over the next 12 months they felt most confident about booking Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and the U.S.
—More than half (54 percent) of those surveyed said the Tunisia terrorist attack alone had put them off booking a holiday anywhere abroad. (On 26 June 2015, an Islamic terror attack occurred at the tourist resort at Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia, resulted in the death of 38, 30 of whom were British. The UK government issued a ban on all but essential travel to the country; it is estimated that 300,000 tourists due to travel to the country immediately cancelled their visits.)
—Just 1 percent said they would consider visiting Tunisia, even if the travel ban were lifted.
—The research also showed 75 percent of respondents were now actively avoiding Islamic countries as holiday destinations.
—Seventy-three percent said the migrant crisis had put them off travelling through the Channel Tunnel or by Eurostar.
—Travelzoo managing director Richard Singer said the survey showed that personal safety was now a key factor in holiday choice. In the past, he observed, “It was all about price; now safety is right up there.”