Tourism

Aussies rethink travel plans as terrorism fears worsen

Four in five Aussie travellers fear flying with at least half blaming terrorism, accoridng to new research from comparison site, finder.com.au.

Terrorist attacks on planes including the aircraft being hijacked is the major reason why Australians fear taking-off – instilling fear in 45 per cent of Aussie jetsetters, according to a finder.com.au survey of 2,005 Australians.

And it’s not just attacks in the air they are worried about.

High profile terrorist incidents in cities such as London, Berlin, Paris, Nice and most recently Barcelona have made Australians wary about traveling in Europe.

Analysis of Overseas Departure seasonally-adjusted data by finder.com.au shows the number of Australians visiting France dropped seven per cent in the 12 months to July 2017, Germany by five per cent and the number of those heading to the UK dropped by one per cent.

Globally however, the number of Australians traveling overseas has increased by four per cent, and those heading to Europe has actually jumped by three per cent.

Aussies are choosing to head to places like Switzerland, Sweden and Greece instead of the UK, France and Germany.

Bessie Hassan, insurance expert at finder.com.au, said the decline in Aussie visitors to the UK, France and Germany is significant, at a time when global tourism is growing.

“We’re seeing evidence that travellers are avoiding destinations where they see a pattern of terrorism happening,” she said.

She speculated that more Australians would be holidaying on home soil.

“We may see domestic holidays and South Pacific tourism increase while people feel that other parts of the world are dangerous,” she said.

For those nervous about travelling to Europe in the wake of recent attacks Ms Hassan recommends contacting insurers to find out what sort of cover they provide in the event there is a terrorist incident.

“Not all travel insurance policies cover cancellations as a result of terrorist attacks, and some may only provide limited cover so it’s worth reading the fine print before heading overseas.”

By demographic:

  • Despite increased aviation security, the research shows more than half of women (53 per cent) say their fear of flying stems from terrorism, compared to 31 per cent of men.
  • New South Wales would-be tourists are least worried about terrorism when flying – with 42 per cent saying it’s a major fear, compared to 47 per cent of those in Victoria and West Australia.
  • More than half (51 per cent) of Generation Ys are fearful of terrorism on a plane compared to just 40 per cent of Baby Boomers.

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