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Terror concerns influencing travel patterns: Allianz study

RICHMOND, VA — A new Allianz shows almost a quarter of travellers will cancel, delay, relocate, change or reconsider their travel plans based on concerns about terror attacks.

Some 86% of respondents said they’re worried about terrorist attacks occurring while on vacation in various regions of the world in the future, prompting many to make major changes to their travel plans. The annual ‘Vacation Confidence Index’ released by Allianz Global Assistance polled American travellers.

Travellers said they were most concerned about the Middle East (75%), followed by Europe (66%) and Africa (63%).

With recent attacks in Istanbul, Israel, Paris, Brussels, and Nice, almost a quarter (22%) said that the fear of further violence has influenced their vacation planning in some way; whether that be cancelling (6%); changing locations (5%), travel dates (4%), mode of transportation (4%), local tours (4%) or accommodations (3%); or by purchasing travel insurance (3%).

Older respondents expressed concern about terror attacks globally, outside of North America. That trend was reversed for travel within the U.S. and Canada, according to the study, where Millennials aged 18 to 34 have the greatest fear of an attack happening on home soil (57%) compared to Generation X (51%) and Baby Boomers (48%).

Respondents influenced by an act of terrorism are more likely to be traveling within the U.S. or Canada (50%), likely due to the higher number of domestic vs. international vacations planned. Travellers who have changed their international travel plans were most likely to be visiting Europe (42%), followed by Asia (29%), Latin America (26%), Australia and the South Pacific (26%), the Middle East (22%) or Africa (21%).

An analysis of flight bookings showed a 10% overall increase in travel to Europe during the summer, despite recent acts of terror in Brussels, Istanbul and France. While these targeted destinations saw a significant decrease or virtually no change in U.S. travellers visiting during the upcoming summer, Europe as a whole recorded an overall increase to 515,676 travelers in 2016 compared to 471,823 in 2015.

To help travel agents reassure client concerns about the Coronavirus, TICO has issued a special Registrar Bulletin that includes relevant tips and information.

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