Concerns around the safety and security of holiday destinations now ranks alongside traditional factors such as cost as one of the key factors in influencing where Australians are choosing to travel, a new nation-wide survey undertaken by Nielsen on behalf of the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has shown.
According to the survey, more than one-third (35 per cent) of Australians will make a decision on where to holiday based on the current or potential security situation at the destination.
TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said the results reflect a global trend of travellers avoiding 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,” Ms 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.”
According to the survey, females (38 per cent) are more likely to take security concerns into consideration than men (32 per cent), while those aged 65 and over the age bracket most likely (51 per cent) and 18 to 24 the least (27 per cent).
West Australians are the most likely to let security concerns influence their decision on where to travel (40 per cent), while only seven per cent 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 per cent of people surveyed saying the cost of travelling to a destination was one of their biggest considerations and 55 per cent saying the cost of accommodation was a primary factor.