RICHMOND, Va. — Based on data from the Allianz Insurance Vacation Confidence Index, 86 per cent of Americans are concerned about terrorist attacks taking place at their chosen vacation spots. With recent attacks taking place in Istanbul, Israel, Paris, Brussels and Nice, many Americans are making drastic changes to their travel plans in an effort to avoid violence.
Nearly 22 per cent of Americans say the fear of violence has influenced their vacation planning in some way; 75 per cent fear an attack taking place in countries in the Middle East, 66 per cent fear European destinations and 63 per cent fear potential violence in Africa.
The study also found as Americans age, their fears of terror attacks during travel increases significantly. Within North America, however, mature Americans have considerably less fear of travelling — 57 per cent of millennials compared to 48 per cent of baby boomers fear a local attack most.
Americans influenced by risks of terror attacks tend to travel within their continent, with 50 per cent choosing the U.S. or Canada as vacation destinations. Of the Americans who choose to travel internationally, 42 per cent are likely to visit Europe; 29 per cent to Asia; 26 per cent to Latin America; 26 per cent to Australia and the South Pacific; 22 per cent to the Middle East; and 21 per cent to Africa.
Interestingly, analysis of flight bookings shows, despite the recent trail of terrorist attacks across European countries, there was a 10-per-cent increase in U.S. bookings to European destinations. France, Turkey and Belgium saw a significant decrease in U.S. travellers, but Europe as a whole reported an overall increase — 515, 676 travellers in 2016 compared to 471, 823 for the previous year.
“What we’re seeing is the American traveller is a complex demographic that shares common fears and concerns, but deviate greatly on where they find those fears and how they face them,” says Daniel Durazo, director of Communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “But we’re pleased to see whatever those differences are, one thing that remains consistent is that they are finding ways to follow their passion of seeing the world despite the challenges that come with travelling in a time of terror.”