British families craving reassurance from travel firms

Travel firms' marketing strategies for the next 12 months should revolve around reassurance, new research suggests.

Half of Britons have become nervous about air travel and using the Channel Tunnel, according to a study by family travel website FamilyBreakFinder.

Given the year we've had, it's perhaps little surprise that half of the 1,336 Britons quizzed in the survey said they will stay at a UK campsite or holiday park in 2017.

Terrorism, health scares and political trouble abroad are issues that have dominated the news for the past 12 months. While you might argue they're issues that have always existed, it seems that British holidaymakers are being influenced by them more than ever.

When you also factor in anxieties about Brexit and the impact on travel in Europe, you have the recipe for 'playing it safe', as far as British families are concerned.

Egypt emerged as the top destination to avoid, followed by Tunisia, Turkey, Brussels, Dubai, Paris, Germany, Greece, Florida and London.

Half of those who plan to remain in the UK for their holidays next year said it is a decision that has been made with recent events abroad in mind.

The travel industry could be the biggest loser of Brits' risk-averse approach to holidaying: most families expect to spend less or the same on travel next year, with only 21% expecting to increase their budget for holidays and breaks.

It's not just matters abroad that are causing Brits some concern. With Brexit in mind, people are worried about the prospect of higher air fares (68%) and the loss of the European Health Insurance Card (63%).

Meanwhile, the collapse of budget travel firm Lowcost Holidays has meant that being ATOL protected is now more important for 61% of family travellers.

FamilyBreakFinder founder and managing director, Dominic Sawyer, said his business is already feeling the effects of British families' growing unease about travelling abroad.

"As a publisher of daily travel deals, and through our large social media fanbase, we've noticed a surge of interest in domestic holidays and short breaks. Our members are very interested in luxury camping right now, with our UK yurt and tipi offers outstripping many of our Med holidays," she said.

He added that Spain and Portugal remain stable and solid performers, but the likes of Turkey and Eygpt are "completely unsellable". Even places like Greece, Croatia and Dubai have sunk in popularity, according to Sawyer.

He added: "Financially, these have been a tough times for most UK families and value-for-money will continue to be a top priority.

"Naturally, when it comes to Brexit, it's the impact on travel costs that concerns families most, with higher air fares and the loss of free healthcare the biggest worries. Few seem to care what our European neighbours think of us post-referendum."

In its research, FamilyBreakFinder also asked respondents to name the political person they would not want to sit next to on a flight. The top answer: Donald Trump.

The next 12 months are going to be interesting, travel brands. Make sure you're prepared for it!

For help perfecting your digital offering, contact us to find out more about our award-winning travel technology.