Nearly 90 percent of travelers expressed some degree of concern for travel safety this year, according to new findings in the annual Global Rescue travel safety survey.

Compared to last year, 16 percent of travelers reported they are more concerned about travel safety in 2019, with most (82%) indicating they are still as concerned as they were last year.

View the Infographic here.

Among the top survey findings:

  • Terrorism is no longer a primary concern. This year, more than two thirds (69%) of respondents ranked crime atop their three greatest traveling threats, followed by health and medical issues (67%) and then terrorism (41%). Less than one quarter (22%) of respondents ranked terrorism as their number one threat, with 33 percent of respondents ranking health and medical issues as their top concern. In 2018, 40 percent of respondents ranked terrorism as the greatest threat to their travel. 
  • Concerns over travel safety in Europe have subsided. This year, more than half of respondents (54%) plan to travel to Europe, which comes after 74 percent expressed at least some level of concern with travel to both Europe and the Middle East last year. The top four destinations in terms of concern this year are: Africa (87%), the Middle East (84%), South America (80%) and Asia (74%). Europe dipped significantly in the ranking with 66 percent reporting some concern. 
  • Travel safety concern overall is unchanged in 2019. Across the last two years, nearly 85 percent of respondents expressed some degree of concern for travel safety, at 87 percent in 2019 and 84 percent in 2018, respectively. 
  • Travel concerns are not impacting willingness to travel. Only six percent of respondents said concerns would have a significant impact on their travel. Nearly half (47%) reported their concerns would impact their plans “a little,” while 41 percent of respondents said their concerns will have no impact on their travel in 2019.

    Much like last year, 48 percent of respondents will do more research when it comes to their travel safety concerns, while 30 percent will do nothing at all and 25 percent will prepare themselves for a possible crisis.

    “I think we all take a risk every time we travel,” one survey participant said. “I understand the risks and try to make sure I am smart about the way I handle myself. I like to do some research on travel plans and destinations before I go to have adequate back up for mishaps.”

    In 2018, 22 percent of travelers said they would be willing to change destinations amid travel safety concerns, while only 14 percent reported they would change destinations entirely in 2019. While overall concerns won’t impact a majority of travelers, health and medical issues (29%) and safety and security concerns (28%) are the top two factors preventing people from traveling more. 

  • Concerns with travel safety in Africa have increased. This year, the number of respondents either “concerned” or “very concerned” with travel to Africa increased to 56 percent, which is up from 39 percent last year. In 2018, 17 percent of respondents reported they were “very concerned” with travel to Africa, which has grown to 30 percent in 2019.

“This year’s results are reflective of a relative decline in the worldwide threat of terrorism, particularly in Europe and Turkey, where attacks in previous years likely influenced the perception that terrorism was a major concern,” said Global Rescue CEO and founder Dan Richards. “Medical and health issues as well as safety and security concerns are the top two barriers to more travel in 2019. Global Rescue stands ready on both fronts to support and ensure its members can travel more.” 

The Global Rescue 2019 Travel Safety Survey was conducted from January 24 through February 15, 2019. The study is based on a survey of 900 current and former Global Rescue members ages 25 to 70 or older, with household incomes of $35,000 to $200,000 or more.