Getting Over the Fear Factor

At ITB Berlin, TravelZoo will be presenting the results of their study on global security and the “fear factor”. Richard Singer, President of TravelZoo Europe, tells ITB New Berlin about some of the key findings.

TRAVEL SAFETY, FEARS AND COUNTERREACTIONS OF GLOBAL TOURISTS

Category: ITB Future Day

Date: March 8, 2017 Time: 4:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Location: Convention Hall 7.1b,Auditorium London

TravelZoo surveyed over 6,000 people from China, the United States, Germany, the UK, France, Russia, India and South Africa. It’s clear that safety is more significant now than ever, with 97% admitting that safety is on their mind when they are deciding on a holiday destination for 2017.

Given the high – profile nature of recent ter ror ist attacks in popular tourism destinations, this is of little surprise. What is surprising, and reassuring for European travel providers, is that consumers are proving to be resilient, and the majority are still choosing European holiday destinations. In fact, of the top 10 safest holiday destinations – as voted for by our survey respondents – seven are in Europe.

Is much of the so-called fear factor a result of media hype, assuming that the real risks are very low?

We have found that terrorist attacks on European tourists are down for the past 10 years, when compared to the two decades before. Yet, despite this, fear among European travellers (and global travellers) is at an all-time high. While it’s fair to say that the media and social media have contributed towards creating a culture of “fear” among travellers, terrorism remains a very real threat that consumers need more guidance around.

What should be done to improve safety, and what other advice do you have for industry professionals?

We’ve been sharing the global research results with hoteliers, t ravel providers and tour operators, and agreeing on a realistic call to action for the travel industry. One of the greatest fears is inconsistency in terms of information and standards – we believe the travel industry needs to take a more uniformed approach and provide clear and easy-to-understand information to global consumers