Tourists more deterred by epidemic than terrorist attack

Tourists more deterred by epidemic than terrorist attack

Research from Skyscanner has revealed that a third of UK holidaymakers felt an epidemic would put them off travelling to a particular destination, more than a terrorist attack, civil unrest and a natural disaster. However, most said they would wait a full year before travelling to a country affected by civil unrest or an epidemic. Terrorist attacks and natural disasters had less affect, as participants said they would feel comfortable visiting countries hit by either after three months. Skyscanner’s flight search data shows that recovery can come quickly as travellers have been undeterred by events in the past six years. “Skyscanner typically sees an immediate fall in interest for any destination that is hit by disaster. But as long as that event is not sustained, we tend to see appetite for travel quickly recovering as the tourists return,” said Skyscanner Co-Founder and Market Development Director Barry Smith. Thailand, for example, has risen 11 places in Skyscanner’s flight search index compared to 2009, despite the civil unrest and tsunami it has faced. Interest in Madeira originally fell by 37% but two months later flight searches have picked up to the pre-flood levels. Searches to Mexico are up 164%, a year after the swine flu outbreak and New York’s visitor figures have surpassed its original numbers since 9/11, where Ground Zero has become an attraction itself. Madrid faced a similar pattern after the 2004 bombings.

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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