The Global Rescue 2018 Travel Safety Survey revealed that a majority of respondents (82%) expressed concerns for their safety during anticipated 2018 travel. Nineteen percent (19%) are more concerned about travel safety in 2018 compared to 2017.
Top survey findings:
- Terrorism remains the top-ranked travel threat in 2018. Fifty percent (50%) of respondents ranked terrorism among the top perceived threats, ranking it as either first or second on a list of potential threats to 2018 travel. Thirty-nine percent (39%) rated health/medical issues as a top-two threat, and 37% ranked crime as a top-two threat. Traffic accidents ranked fourth, with 18% rating it as a top-two threat, followed by civil unrest (17%) and cyber security/identity theft (12%). Natural disaster was ranked a top-two threat by 6% respondents.
Despite heightened awareness of the threat of a nuclear attack, including announced plans for nuclear preparedness training by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 5% of survey respondents ranked nuclear attack as a top-two threat.
- Nearly one in five are more concerned about 2018 versus 2017. Eighty-two percent (82%) of respondents expressed some degree of concern for travel safety in 2018, including 30% who say they are “Concerned” or “Very concerned.” Nineteen percent (19%) indicated greater concern about travel safety this year compared to 2017.
A majority of survey participants (51%) noted that travel concerns would somewhat impact their 2018 travel. Eight percent (8%) responded that their travel would be significantly affected.
“Sadly, we don’t feel safe traveling to places of interest, such as Iran, Egypt, Russia. The world we feel comfortable to travel in has shrunk in the past 10-15 years,” noted one survey participant. Another commented, “Globally we plan to only travel in North America or Western EU for the foreseeable future due to political, civil, and other significant uncertainties that many countries are struggling with managing.
- Concerns remain high about travel to Europe. Europe remains a top-three destination for travelers’ concerns, along with the Middle East, followed by Africa. Among respondents who expressed some level of concern, 73% pointed to Europe and 73% to the Middle East, followed by Africa (71%). Intensity of concern is highest in the Middle East, with 45% indicating “Very Concerned."
One respondent commented, “Going to France this year and fairly worried about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Less worried about Brazil/Amazon than France. Who would have thought that a few years ago?”
Thirty-seven percent (37%) are at least somewhat concerned about travel in North America in 2018. According to one respondent, “Only concerned when we go to America. No concern here in Asia.”
- Greater concern for personal and family travel compared to business travel. Respondents who expressed some level of concern indicated that personal travel (76%) and family travel (66%) were more concerning than business travel (39%) in 2018.
- Research, research, research. What will travelers do differently in 2018? Forty-eight percent (48%) responded “Do more research.” Nearly one in four (22%) will change travel destinations, while 24% intend to prepare for a possible crisis.
Despite perceived travel safety issues, nearly all respondents (96%) say that they are likely or very likely to travel in 2018.
“People tend to react to the spectacular and most frightening events that gather the most media attention,” said Global Rescue CEO and founder Dan Richards. “However, there are less spectacular albeit more likely events that will negatively affect travel. Certain risks such as minor injuries, illnesses and car accidents cannot be predicted or fully preventable. Careful planning and preparation are always recommended prior to any travel.”
The Global Rescue 2018 Travel Safety Survey was conducted January 3 through January 14, 2018. The study is based on a survey of 1,200 current and former Global Rescue members ages 25 to 70 or older, with household incomes of $35,000 to $200,000 or more.
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