wtm2016 entering

World Travel Market Industry Report 2016 released today reveals some interesting facts about British holidaymakers and their decisions when it comes to travel. The report shows positive outlook for the travel and tourism industry. Here are highlights from the 2016 report.

Terrorism is the number-one concern

According to the World Travel Market Industry Report 2016, terrorism is the number-one concern for British holidaymakers, while travel industry bosses say terror attacks have had the greatest impact on their business in the past year. Of the British holidaymakers who went abroad this year, 38% said the threat of terrorism was a concern, with 9% admitting to being ‘extremely concerned’. On the plus side, 40% said they were not concerned at all – despite several high-profile terror attacks in the past year.

However, there is clear evidence that global terror incidents, such as the Nice Bastille Day massacre, the Istanbul Ataturk Airport attack and terror campaigns in Tunisia, have affected tourism. The report says, 76% of key industry executives said terrorism has impacted their business in the past year. Of these, one in three said terrorism had a ‘significant’ impact, while 43% said it had ‘some’ impact. Only 24% said terrorism had no impact at all.

Despite high-profile cases of industrial action by air transport workers, service personnel in Greece, blockades at Calais and train strikes, fewer than half of industry executives (46%) said industrial action had impacted their business.

The refugee crisis has impacted 44% of travel businesses – with 11% saying it has had a significant impact; while 37% say health scares such as the Zika virus have affected their business. Just over a quarter (28%) of consumers said the refugee crisis affected their decision on where to go on holiday; 23% were concerned about political instability; 22% were concerned about the Zika virus and other health scares; 20% were concerned about industrial action and 18% were concerned about natural disasters.

Outlook is positive

More than 2,000 buyers and exhibitors were polled for the report, with half the global sample saying they are planning to have conversations with suppliers from Egypt, Greece or Turkey. The three destinations’ tourism industries have been hit hard by a combination of political uncertainty and terrorist attacks over the past few years, prompting many travel companies to withdraw from or severely limit their presence. However, this could be about to change, with 37% of the total sample looking to talk to Greek businesses, 29% looking to talk to Turkish suppliers and 17% heading toward the Egypt stands. Eight out of ten buyers having talks with Turkish, Greek and Egyptian exhibitors plan on signing contracts (80%, 80% and 78% respectively).

Tunisia is another destination, whose tourism industry has been hit, and its recovery is taking longer to materialize but there are early signs of a shift in sentiment. While only 8% of the samples are looking to talk to representatives, more than 70% of those are expecting to sign a deal.

More Brits use Airbnb

Airbnb, the global platform which allows individuals around the globe to rent homes or rooms to travelers, is worth an estimated $30 billion. It is widely seen as a disruptor, prompting not only global hotel chains to rethink their business model but also driving a change in the how online travel agencies market their accommodation inventory.

Last year’s World Travel Market Industry Report found that only 3% on Brits used Airbnb. However, this year’s report finds out that 12% of British holidaymakers had used Airbnb, a promising rise. This suggests that Airbnb’s marketing initiatives in the UK are starting to raise awareness. The report found that less than one in five of those who haven’t yet used Airbnb would consider doing so in the future, with three in ten saying they had no intention of using the platform. Nearly half (48%) were undecided, of the 12% who did use Airbnb only 60% said they would do so again.

Alcohol on flights and air rage

The issue of alcohol on flights and air rage is becoming increasingly concerning, with the number of ‘dangerous’ in-flight incidents on UK airlines rising fourfold in three years, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. The CAA says UK airlines reported 85 air rage incidents in 2013, but the figure soared to 386 last year. The report reveals more than a quarter of people (27%) have experienced a disruptive passenger on a flight and almost three quarters (73%) agreed with the recent decision by airline Jet2.com to ban the sale of alcohol on board in the mornings. Only one in ten said they disagreed with Jet2.com’s policy on not selling alcohol before 8am.