The majority of Americans (86 percent) are concerned about terrorist attacks occurring while on vacation in various regions of the world in the future, prompting many to make major changes to their travel plans, according to the annual Vacation Confidence Index by Allianz Global Assistance.
The region Americans are most concerned will be the site of an attack is the Middle East (75 percent), followed by Europe (66 per cent) and Africa (63 percent).
With recent attacks in Istanbul, Israel, Paris, Brussels, and Nice, almost a quarter of Americans (22 percent) say that the fear of further violence has influenced their vacation planning in some way; whether that be cancelling (6 percent); changing locations (5 percent), travel dates (4 percent), mode of transportation (4 percent), local tours (4 percent) or accommodations (3 percent); or by purchasing travel insurance (3 percent).
As Americans age, the fear of terror attacks happening while traveling to different regions of the world increases significantly. That trend, however, is reversed for travel within the U.S. and Canada, where millennials aged 18 to 34 have the greatest fear of an attack happening on home soil (57 percent) compared to generation X (51 percent) and baby boomers (48 percent).
Those Americans influenced by an act of terrorism are more likely to be traveling within the U.S. or Canada (50 percent), likely due to the higher number of domestic vs. international vacations planned. Internationally, Americans who have changed their plans were most likely to be visiting Europe (42 percent), followed by Asia (29 percent), Latin America (26 percent), Australia and the South Pacific (26 percent), the Middle East (22 percent) or Africa (21 percent).
An analysis of flight bookings showed a 10 percent overall increase in travel to Europe during the summer, despite recent acts of terror in Brussels, Istanbul and France. While these targeted destinations saw a significant decrease or virtually no change in U.S. travelers visiting during the upcoming summer, Europe as a whole recorded an overall increase to 515,676 travelers in 2016 compared to 471,823 in 2015.
“What we’re seeing is that the American traveler is a complex demographic that shares common fears and concerns, but deviate greatly on where they find those fears and how they face them,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “But we’re pleased to see that whatever those differences are, one thing that remains consistent is that they are finding ways to follow their passion of seeing the world despite the challenges that come with traveling in a time of terror.”