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Are terror jitters making Aussie tourists rethink travel?

August 25, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

The resilience of the Australian traveller is legendary, yet a new survey of about 2000 Australians claims to have found that about four in five (84%) fear flying – with at least half blaming terrorism.

Fear of terrorist attacks on planes, including the aircraft being hijacked, affects 45% of Aussie flyers, according to a survey by comparison website

The survey, which covered 2005 Australians, found they are worried about more than attacks in the air. High-profile terrorist attacks in cities such as London, Berlin, Paris, Nice and most recently Barcelona have made Australians wary of travelling in Europe.

Analysis of seasonally-adjusted Overseas Departure data by shows the number of Australians visiting France dropped 7% in the 12 months to July 2017, Germany by 5% and the number of those heading to the UK dropped by 1%.

Globally however, the number of Australians travelling overseas has increased by 4%, with those heading to Europe increasing by 3%.

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

Bessie Hassan, insurance expert at, calls the decline in Aussie visitors to France and Germany 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.

“In the wake of more terror incidents overseas, Aussies are rethinking their holidays plans and looking much closer to home.”

For those nervous about travelling to Europe in the wake of recent attacks, Hassan recommends contacting insurers to find out what sort of cover they provide in the event of 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.”

If someone fears a terrorist attack, however, taking out comprehensive insurance is unlikely to dispel the fear.

The survey found:

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

That last one is interesting. Baby Boomers have seen a bit more of life than Generation Ys, so maybe they are less jittery about such things and know that the chances of a terrorist incident happening are very slim.

Edited by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    It’s a sad fact that clients tell me that when they see groups of men of Middle Eastern appearance waiting to board the same flight as them, they seriously think about changing flights. I also recently took a domestic flight where an Arabic man was very rude and angry about simply showing his boarding pass when boarding and I overheard the crew warning each other to watch him during the flight. Australian travellers shouldn’t have to take these fears on board with them.

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