PLYMOUTH, MN – While Europe continues to forcefully address security issues to thwart potential terror plots, new survey data from Travel Leaders Group indicates that France has bounced back in the eyes of American travelers.
For individuals with upcoming Europe travel plans in 2016, France was selected as the top country those travelers will visit – followed by Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. However, for survey participants stating they’re not planning a trip to Europe between now and the end of the year, safety concerns still rank among the top five reasons. The survey was conducted April 4 to April 30, 2016, and includes responses from 3,431 consumers throughout the United States.
“The ‘new normal’ in today’s world means potential risks of travel exist just about everywhere, including here at home. So perhaps it’s not surprising that our latest survey data indicates that many Americans will not let fear and threats overtake their desire to embrace the world and experience other cultures; France is a primary example,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.
“While each person must decide on their personal level of comfort in traveling to any destination – even those within the U.S. – the survey data shows many are still choosing Europe, and France specifically, as their destination of choice. Travel continues to be one of the single-most powerful catalysts for addressing ignorance, fear and hate. Based our survey findings, a significant number of American travelers agree.”
• For the 8.2% of survey participants who’ve already traveled to Europe this year, the top European countries visited have been: (1) United Kingdom, (2) France, (3) Italy, (4) Germany, and (5) Netherlands.
• For those with upcoming plans to travel to Europe – 17.1% of survey respondents – the top European destinations visited will be: (1) France, (2) Italy, (3) United Kingdom, (3) Germany, and (5) Spain.
o When asked, “Is your intention to continue with those travel plans?” nearly all (98.3%) respondents said “Yes.”
• The survey also asked participants if they are contemplating a trip (or another trip) to Europe in 2016. Of the nearly 28% who said “Yes,” the top destinations they are considering include: (1) United Kingdom, (2) Italy, (3) France, (4) Germany, and (5) Ireland.
• For those individuals stating they are not planning a trip to Europe between now and the end of the year, the top reasons included:
Big vacation already taken or planned for 2016 48.5%
Concerns over safety 25.5%
Not interested in Europe 16.4%
No vacation time 6.3%
* Participants could select as many options as appropriate. Two of the most popular “write in” responses were: “Already going or have gone to Europe” and “Been there, want to see something different.”
• Taking into consideration recent events, survey participants were asked, “Are there any countries in Europe you would specifically avoid this year?” The top responses, from nearly 3,100 survey participants, were:
1 No 37.5%
2 No – I/we cannot allow fear to dictate our travels 26.6%
3 Turkey 21.0%
4 Belgium 14.4%
5 Russia 14.3%