With 42% of people concerned about terrorism affecting their travel plans, it appears UK travellers now fear travelling to once popular holiday destinations France, Turkey and North Africa, instead favouring safer options elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
Air passenger traffic from the UK to France dropped 3% between May 2015-2016, while other European destinations experienced an increase in traffic, specifically Spain and Italy at 9% and Malta, Greece and Portugal at 5%.
When comparing the first quarter of 2015 and 2016, Malta saw a 76% increase in the number of UK resident visits and a huge 95% increase in spending. But France witnessed a 4% slump in visits and a 12% fall in spending in the same time period. The drop in spending in France is notable compared to Turkey which saw a decrease of only 6% in spending while experiencing a considerable 10% decline in visitors.
Spain saw the number of UK visitors increase 5% and a 5% rise in spending,with the Canary Islands hosting a 38% upsurge in British visitors in the first half of 2016 compared to 2015.
But according to data provided by Markel International, the underwriter to Safe Journey, the UK’s first travel terrorism policy, the UK has experienced more terrorist incidents so far in 2016 than France. The UK saw a 131% increase in terrorism events from 2015 to 2016 so far, whilst France has experienced a 14% drop in the same time period. Belgium has seen a sharp increase with 6.5 times the amount of terrorist activity in 2016 compared to 2014.
Kate Huet, managing director, International Travel and Healthcare comments: “The huge surge in popularity in the Mediterranean for UK visitors shows tourists are looking for safer places to spend their holidays. Safety is a top factor, despite costing a little extra – no doubt promising the continued rise of the ‘Spanish premium’
“Financial protection from terrorism is what Safe Journey was designed to address when it was launched in May this year and since then we have seen a tremendous amount of take up from the British public. There is a clear need for those wishing to travel but still concerned about the direct and indirect effects of terrorism on their travel plans. Safe Journey gives travellers, for business or leisure, the extra peace of mind knowing that they are protected in this changing world.”