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BDRC Continental’s holiday trends 2016 reveals 77% of Britons see safety as an issue in holiday planning

Pessimism among Britons over personal job security at home is also affecting our attitude to holiday planning with nearly one in five respondents (19%) feeling it is ‘very likely’ or ‘fairly likely’ they will lose their job in 2016. This figure is an increase on the 13% that said this in 2015.

Pessimism over job security is also affecting our intention to take a holiday London 18th April 2016: Worries about personal safety overseas are affecting holiday intentions, according to BDRC Continental’s latest Holiday Trends survey on the British holidaymaker. Nearly eight out of 10 (77%) say safety is now a ‘consideration’ when planning a holiday, while four in 10 (42%) describe safety as a ‘serious consideration’. Pessimism among Britons over personal job security at home is also affecting our attitude to holiday planning with nearly one in five respondents (19%) feeling it is ‘very likely’ or ‘fairly likely’ they will lose their job in 2016. This figure is an increase on the 13% that said this in 2015.

These worries appear to explain why the intention to take a holiday of four nights or more anywhere in the world has dropped from 82% in 2015 to 74% in 2016. The findings also tie in with a decline in anticipated spend on holidays in 2016 and a narrowing of the range of holiday destinations Britons are considering (1.7 destinations on average in 2016 vs 2.8 destinations in 2015).

Safety-first British holidaymakers
There is a direct correlation between concern for safety and propensity to travel abroad with those who see safety as a ‘serious consideration’ more likely to stay in the UK when taking a holiday. When looking at the perceptions of safety of 11 leading tourism destinations, Holiday Trends 2016 also found that Paris ranked 10th, with only 37% feeling the city is ‘very safe’ or ‘fairly safe’. Only Istanbul ranked lower. The safest three cities were Edinburgh, Sydney and London with ratings of 71%, 68% and 60% respectively. Other sources in the tourism world lend weight to this view. Traffic from Dover to Calais (Britain’s busiest sea route) was down by 9% in 2015. In January, ABTA reported that January overseas bookings were highest in traditional ‘safe-spots’ such as Spain and Portugal. In February, the leading tour operator Mark Warner pulled out of Turkey.

Jon Young, Research Director at BDRC Continental, says: “It’s no surprise the issue of safety has taken on such prominence given the tragic world events in the last 12 months or so. To persuade risk-averse Britons to visit, overseas destinations will need to demonstrate their inherent safety and this is already happening. Tourist boards such as the Czech Republic are leading with crime and terrorism stats.”

UK short breaks and ‘bucket-list’ escapes
Holiday Trends 2016 found that for the second consecutive year the proportion of Britons looking to take a short-break at home has increased. The UK is overwhelmingly viewed as a short-break destination, with seven out of 10 (73%) of Britons intending to take a short vacation at home this year, compared to only one in four (24%) seeking a longer home holiday of four nights or more.

British holidaymakers are also keen to accomplish once-in-a-lifetime ‘bucket-list’ vacation experiences. The average Briton takes a bucket-list holiday once every three years. This frequency increases to more than once every two years among the 18-to-34 age group. The same age group is also keen on wellness holidays, with one in three people in the survey between 18 and 34 saying they take such a holiday every year.

Review sites and holiday influences
Holiday Trends 2016 also revealed that nearly half of us (46%) trust online reviews to be accurate and a similar proportion (48%) take more notice of reviews than star ratings. Four out of 10 of us (41%) will change a holiday-related decision after reading a negative review.

Of the top five influences on where to take a holiday, four were ‘peer’ or ‘expert’ related. The top five were ‘friends/colleague’ (39%), ‘search engines’ (33%), ‘review sites’ (32%), ‘travel agent staff’ (27%) and ‘friend’s social media’ (25%). Influences at the ‘inspiration stage’ and the ‘planning stage’ were very different with friends playing a significantly more important role at the inspiration stage.

Jon Young adds: “At times of uncertainty the most influential sources are those we trust. In addition, when feeling fearful, we will default to easy, trusted options. Complicated choices will create uncertainty and add to underlying worries. So holiday providers should make the decision as simple as possible for holidaymakers. Hand-holding ‘from landing to leaving’ and information aids such as itineraries can help people make their choice. Travel agents, tour operators and tourist boards have a clear role to play here.”

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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