More than half of those who responded to a poll said that a turbulent summer, which included the shooting in Sousse and also the migrant crisis that affected holiday destinations in the Mediterranean, had directly influenced their choice of holiday abroad.
The survey, carried out for Travelzoo, revealed a trend in holidaymakers claiming to be avoiding traditional winter sun destinations in favour of what they deemed to be “safer” destinations that they “would not otherwise have chosen to visit”.
The shooting on a Tunisian beach that left 30 British tourists dead is the main cause for concern if the survey is to be believed, with more than half of those questioned claiming that the incident had put them off planning or booking a holiday anywhere abroad.
Three quarters said that they were now avoiding booking trips to Islamic countries.
“Usually when Britain has a cool and wet summer, we are keen to take a holiday somewhere warm,“ said Yeganeh Morakabati, an academic in risk and tourism at Bournemouth University. “The events of this summer, however, have impacted the choices British consumers are making about where to go.”
“What is clear from the research is that the relative levels of risk perception have increased uncertainty and this has left the door open to fear. As a result British travellers are finding it increasingly difficult to decide on the safest destination for a holiday abroad.”
The Foreign Office continues to advise against all but essential travel to Tunisia, but the poll suggests that many holidaymakers remain confused about which destinations are considered safe.
Nearly a third admitted that they are unaware of current Government travel warnings.
Louise Hodges, Travelzoo’s spokesperson, said: “It’s clear that after a turbulent year with many high profile incidents in tourist destinations, safety and security is paramount for British people making choices about where to travel to for the rest of 2015 and into 2016.
“The Canaries are looking popular again this year, however we know people are actively avoiding North Africa, opting instead for destinations they believe are safer. Islamic countries in particular are causing potential British visitors concern.”
Following the tragic terrorist attack in Sousse in June, less than one per cent of the British tourists who were polled said that they would consider visiting Tunisia, even if the Government’s travel ban was to be lifted in the next few months.
The Travelzoo survey was conducted by Censuswide, an independent third party, who polled 2,000 adults in Britain in September.