LONDON, England – With the holiday season just weeks away, a new survey of over 1,000 travelers for car hire comparison site Carrentals.co.uk has found growing concern over safety issues, with one third of respondents more concerned about security now than they were a year ago.
The survey found that terrorism is the biggest safety concern for travelers, with over 40% worried about terrorist attacks. Over 61% of respondents said if they saw a bag by itself at an airport they would report it immediately, while a further 30% would report it if it was still there after 30 minutes.
Other safety concerns of respondents included being robbed (27%), a flight crashing (23%), an illness outbreak (18.5%), accommodation safety (18%) and being physically attacked (13.5%).
However, nearly 1 in 5 also said they had felt threatened or intimidated by passport control/security at an airport, with the survey told of body searches, lengthy questioning – even at gun point, and intimidating behaviour, with countries including the USA, Russia, Thailand, Greece and Hungary highlighted.
More than 1 in 10 of those questioned said they had experienced a serious safety incident on their travels, with researchers told of physical attacks with weapons, car and bus crashes, aircraft fires, car jackings and terrorist attacks.
Safety concerns mean travelers are taking a range of measures to protect themselves, with over 74% saying they respect local traditions in terms of dress and behaviour, while two thirds said they don’t wear expensive jewellery, watches or clothing to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
Over 50% of travelers now write down details of their credit card and passport numbers, while 41% check travel advice from the Foreign Office, and 28% wear a money belt under their clothes. 2% also said they take a carbon monoxide detector with them for their accommodation.
Travelers are also avoiding certain situations because of safety concerns. 65% said they wouldn’t accept lifts from someone they met on holiday, while over 7% avoid travelling on local transport and attending sports events. 5% said they avoid local festivals and celebrations.
Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of Carrentals.co.uk, says: “Concerns over safety and security do seem to have got stronger over the last year, and as a result more travellers are taking on board advice such as detailing their passport numbers and respecting local traditions.
“Security concerns aren’t stopping us traveling, but they are perhaps making us more cautious about where we travel to and what we do while there.”