Safety is holidaymakers’ prime concern, finds Travelzoo research

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Safety is now a prime concern for almost three quarters of people considering where to go on holiday this summer.

A trend towards staying close to home is borne out by new research by travel deals company Travelzoo which found that the UK is the top destination choice this year, beating Spain and France.

Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, which have all suffered from terrorist atrocities since last year, do not feature in the top ten list of preferred summer holiday destinations in 2016.

The poll of 2,000 British consumers highlights a change in travel habits with 71% now choosing where to go based on how safe they feel the destination is.

Safety has become the most important factor in travel decisions, ahead of affordability (52%) and good weather (42%), according to the study.

Yet the majority of British people (82%) still plan to go on one or more holidays this year.

And a number of respondents said their destination choice was impacted by existing travel restrictions – 11% of respondents said if bans to Sharm el-Sheikh or Tunisia were lifted they would travel there immediately, while overall 43% would be willing to travel there at some point in the near future.

The UK (27%) emerged as the most popular choice of destination for 2016, beating Spain (21%) into second place, and France (10%) into third.

The US and Italy are in equal fourth place, followed by Greece, while the top 10 also includes long-haul destinations such as Canada, Australia and the Caribbean. Other countries people plan to visit are Germany, Portugal and Cyprus.

A Travelzoo spokeswoman said: “It’s great to see there’s still an incredibly strong appetite for summer holidays amongst the British public, for both European and longer-haul destinations.

“The research, however, does echo what our partners in the travel industry have been telling us: although many Britons are still planning to get away this summer, they are now opting for what they perceive to be safe travel destinations, rather than simply chasing the sun, and this in turn is having a direct impact on the countries they are travelling to.”

She added: “Despite the attempts of terrorists to disrupt our daily lives it’s great to see the great British public still insisting on their summer holiday. Of course the situation has meant that safety considerations are impacting destination choices and this is affecting prices and availability.

“Prices are higher to the western Mediterranean than previous years and availability is undoubtedly lower – as we predicted earlier in the year many holidays there have already sold out.

“I have spoken with some UK suppliers who have had hotel stock withdrawn by Spanish hoteliers holding out for higher rates.

“At the other end some of the best deals we have ever seen can be had to Egypt, Morocco and Turkey for those determined not to have their holiday choices disrupted.”

The countries British people have booked or are planning to visit for their main summer holiday in 2016 are:

1. UK (27%)
2. Spain (21%)
3. France (10%)
4. US (8%)
4. Italy (8%)
6. Greece (7%)
7. Canada (5%)
8. Germany (5%)
8. Portugal (5%)
9. Australia (4%)
9. Caribbean (4%)
9. Cyprus (4%)

Source: Travelzoo

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