Safety is most important factor for holidaymakers

Image via Shutterstock

Safety abroad is now the single most important factor in holiday destination choice for the majority of consumers, a new study reveals.

As many as 80% rate safety as the determining factor in the wake of terrorist attacks in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, France and Belgium.

The Post Office Travel Money poll of 2,099 people also found that two-thirds of UK tourists bust their budget once they get to their resort – overspending by an average of 26%.

Seventy-nine per cent of those surveyed said the cost of getting to a resort influenced their destination choice and 72% voiced concerns about resort costs, with almost half citing the value of sterling as an important element in choosing where to holiday. 

As many as three-in-five (59%) rated package holiday price discounts as important. While almost four-in-five (78%) of holidaymakers set a budget for their last trip, only a third of them stuck to it.

On an average budget of £747 per couple, the research found that the other two-thirds spent £195 more than they intended – adding up to a collective overspend of £1.55 billion.

Important factors in holiday choice:

  • Safety/security issues in overseas destinations 80%

  • Cost of transport (i.e. international flights) 79%

  • Health issues in overseas destinations (i.e. Zika virus) 74%

  • Resort costs for meals, drinks and other tourist items 72%

  • Weather forecasts 65%

  • Package holiday price discounts 59%

  • The strength or weakness of the pound 47%

  • Your own job security 46%

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “With the pound giving UK tourists less bang for their buck, it is surprising to see that overspending is continuing at the levels seen in previous years. 

“What’s more, since the average budget set virtually matches the amount of foreign currency that holidaymakers took with them in cash, this means they incurred charges by changing money at an ATM or paying on plastic to cover their overspending. 

“We urge them to consider budget carefully this year to avoid paying through the nose.”

When holidaymakers who had visited a destination before were asked where they rated good value, Spain topped the chart with an approval rating of 90%. But only 74% of those who had visited Bulgaria – one of the cheapest overseas destinations – rated it good value.

While Spain, Turkey and the Canary Islands were voted the top three destinations by families, every rating given by families – except for Dubai and France – was lower than the approval given by individuals.

The biggest discrepancies were in ratings for Cyprus (families: 69%, individuals: 87%), Croatia (families: 63%, individuals: 87%), Bulgaria (families: 63%, individuals: 79%) and Mexico (families: 60%, individuals: 85%).

By contrast, there was little difference between the attitudes of individuals and families who had previously holidayed in the US.  Eighty per cent of individuals thought their trips to the US were good value and 79% of families agreed with this.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.