Fear over terrorist attacks are pushing British people away from Muslim countries, with many now ruling out countries they would have once considered safe.
While a remarkable three-quarters of British holidaymakers surveyed by holiday agent Travelzoo said they were actively avoiding Muslim countries, those were not the only avoided by consumers. Nations affected by the migrant crisis flowing out of Africa and the East were also suffering, with survey respondents also avoiding nations like Greece. Over half of respondents on both cases said recent acts of terrorism and the migrant situation affected their decision.
Far from more innocent days when travellers would reach to a travel brochure to decide where to holiday, the poll also found that 70 per cent of British travellers consulted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) alerts on foreign countries before determining where to go. Unfortunately for would-be customers for budget airlines and hotel chains, finding a country to travel to without advisories is difficult – even France comes with a warning of a “high threat of terrorism”.
FCO advice also warns travellers against the “large numbers of illegal migrants in and around Calais” and that Brits should “keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic”. The migrant situation in Calais has filtered back to Britain, with 73-per-cent saying they had been put off going on holiday by Eurostar by it.
Worst of all over half of Brits said the recent terror attacks in Tunisia, in which 30 British citizens were murdered in cold blood by an Islamist gunman, had put them off going abroad for holidays altogether.
A spokesman for the company conducting the research said of the findings: “It’s clear that after a turbulent year with many high-profile incidents in tourist destinations, safety and security is paramount for British people making choices about where to travel to for the rest of 2015 and into 2016″.
“Winter-sun holidays for British tourists have typically been to the Canaries or the North Africa region, where the short flight time and guaranteed heat holds enormous appeal. The Canaries are looking popular again this year, however we know people are actively avoiding North Africa, opting instead for destinations they believe are safer. Islamic countries in particular are causing potential British visitors concern”.
Remarking that other destinations, which holidaymakers may not have considered in the recent past but were now looking more attractive would benefit from the change in fashion: “While in general the desire to travel shows no sign of abating, we are seeing changes in the considerations people make when selecting their holiday destination. British tourists right now want to travel to places they feel are removed from the recent troubles in the Middle East and parts of Europe, and almost two-thirds are looking at destinations they would not have considered before in the quest to find ‘safe’ holiday locations.”
The most popular destinations for Brits over the next 12 months are Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and the United States, according to the report.
While Brits worry about if they are going to be safe while on holiday, abroad foreigners are clearly concerned about their own safety from drunk British tourists running amok. Breitbart London reported in August on the deployment of British police to Spanish holiday islands Magaluf and Ibiza to assist local police in reminding British revellers that foreign countries have laws, too.
The British ambassador to Spain had said holidaymakers were sometimes in the habit of getting into the mindset that what happens on holiday stays on holiday, which resulted in some 500 British tourists being arrested on the islands in just one year.
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