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Safety concerns affect travel choices of Aussies

January 2, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Australian travellers are keen on bargains but many are now also basing their holiday decisions on the safety and security of destinations, according to a new nation-wide survey undertaken by Nielsen on behalf of the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).

Putting it simply, terrorism is a turn-off. According to the survey, more than one-third (35%) of Australians will make a decision on where to holiday based on the current or potential security situation at the destination.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) gives safety guidelines in its Smartraveller bulletins (smartraveller.gov.au) although, like all attempts to predict the future, it is not infallible.

TTF chief executive Margy Osmond said the results of the survey reflect a global trend among travellers to avoid countries where recent terrorist attacks or outbreaks of political and civil unrest have occurred.

“The tourism industry is particularly vulnerable to security threats such as terrorism or the risk of a pandemic such as SARS or bird flu, and this is evident in the huge downturn in visitor numbers to countries once considered tourist hotspots, such as Egypt,” Osmond said.

“Thankfully, however, the perception of danger is often different to the reality and with some common sense the world is still a very safe place for global travellers.

“Australia in particular enjoys an enviable international reputation as one of the safest countries in the world to travel to and our current tourism boom is driven in part by our reputation as a safe and welcoming country to people from every corner of the globe.”

That may be one reason that 78% of Australians who intend to take a break plan to do so in their own country.

According to the survey, females (38%) are more likely to take security concerns into consideration than men (32%), while those aged 65 and over the age bracket most likely (51%) and 18 to 24 the least (27%).

West Australians are the most likely to let security concerns influence their decision on where to travel (40%), while only 7% of Tasmanians said they would rank it as one of their main factors.

The cost of taking a holiday is still the biggest factor in influencing where Australians chose to take a holiday, with 62% of people surveyed saying the cost of travelling to a destination was one of their biggest considerations and 55% saying the cost of accommodation was a primary factor.

Edited by Peter Needham

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