Most travellers (73%) have not changed their vacation plans in the past year despite concerns about local safety, security or health, according to a recent survey conducted by Travelzoo.
The international study, entitled “How Global Voices Shape Travel Choices: The Impact of Consumer Apprehension on Travel Intention,” was done in October in co-operation with the Chief Marketing Officer Council’s GeoBranding Centre and AIG Travel. It also revealed that 95% of respondents consider how world events will impact their safety before making travel plans.
Other interesting findings include:
- Biggest concerns that factor in to travel destination decisions: Terrorist activity (77%); Military conflict or fighting (59%); Outbreak of disease or health risks (46%); Political upheaval (25%); High incidence of crime (25%).
- Destinations considered most safe for travel: Western Europe (48%); USA (15%); Islands (13%); Australia (8%); Canada (5%).
- Destinations considered least safe for travel: Middle East / Near East (39%); Africa (15%); Egypt (12%); Israel (8%); Turkey (5%); Syria (5%).
Travelzoo Canada publisher Michael Duchesne says he’s aware there is some apprehension when travelling abroad, but is reassured that most people are still travelling. He notes that taking precautions and being prepared is important regardless of your travel destination.
His tips for a safe vacation:
- Know before you go. Stay current on anything and everything to do with the country or region you plan to visit.
- Book with a reputable agent or tour operator. They are well-informed of the security situation and can better plan accordingly.
- Bookmark the government’s Travel and Tourism page for country travel advice and advisories.
- Visit the Government of Canada’s Travel & Tourism section and register as a Canadian Abroad so that the Government of Canada can contact you if necessary.
- Make copies of important travel documents and distribute them to family and friends.
- Pack a medical first aid kit and a flashlight. Keep a book with important phone numbers in case you cannot charge your smartphone.
- Research and buy the right travel insurance for your needs.
- Consult with your physician and get appropriate shots for your destination to protect against infection. The Public Health Agency of Canada offers notices and tips. (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/index-eng.php)