The terrorist attacks of recent months and political upheavals have had a major effect on travel behaviour, and the perceived level of threat is determining people’s holiday choices, according to a survey conducted by IPK International and released by ITB Berlin.
The survey took place in early 2016 and was conducted in 40 major tourism source markets IPK International interviewed 50,000 people to analyse the impact of terror threats.
One of the findings of the global survey was that the threat of terrorism influences the travel behaviour of 40 percent of international tourists, while the results varied significantly depending on the source market.
Whereas few South Americans, Scandinavians and Dutch said that the threat of terrorism will affect their travel behaviour, Asians and Eastern Europeans are more strongly influenced by current events.
Differences were also noted between various traveller segments. Those with children are more cautious, whereas younger age groups and singles remain relatively unimpressed by terror warnings.
The survey also examined in what ways the threat of terrorism is changing travel behaviour. Thus, 15 percent of international tourists said they will avoid travelling abroad altogether in 2016 and rather spend their holidays in their own country. One of the best examples is Germany, which again is is a favourite destination for Germans this summer.
Holidays at home and safe destinations in great demand
A quarter of international tourists said they plan to continue travelling abroad, but only to places they perceive as safe. Asked which destinations these were, IPK International gained some interesting insights. Destinations vary widely in their perceived safety levels. For the interviewees, the destinations rated the least safe were those where there have already been attacks or unrest in the past. In a worldwide comparison, Israel, Turkey and Egypt received the lowest ratings. A destination’s bad image even affects neighbouring regions, regardless of whether there had been any incidents there or not.
What became clear was that 2016 will show some substantial shifts in demand. Some countries can expect massive losses, far and foremost Turkey, but also Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Israel. Other areas, such as Canada and Australia, as well Scandinavia and Switzerland have good growth prospects despite the global threat of terrorism.
IPK International underlined that more people are travelling this year compared to 2015 and forecasts a two percent increase in trips abroad by Europeans, and as much as three percent worldwide.