Forget notions of bargain summer holidays and last-minute deals – safety has now become the dominant priority shaping people’s overseas holiday plans for the months ahead. With 66% of Brits still considering a holiday abroad, new AllClear research from specialist travel insurance provider, AllClear, reveals that the COVID-19 safety record of a country, the resort and proximity to good medical services abroad have soared to become the crucial decisions that are framing overseas travel decisions.
Following the Government’s re-introduction of quarantine rules – and the risk of additional countries joining the quarantine list – AllClear surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 British adults in the last week to get an up-to-date picture of the UK traveller mindset.
The research shows that the majority of people intend to travel in the months ahead, but well-being and safety issues now dominate the priority list.
The top two priorities for those considering a trip abroad revolved around firstly picking a country that had a good record for COVID-19 safety (44%) and secondly assessing the likely risk of a country going back into lockdown (42%).
There were also concerns about safe travel, with social distancing on flights now more important (39%) and 29% of people wanting the comfort that airports would be safe to pass through. Thinking about a stay abroad, the state of the health service in the host country (36%) was also a more important consideration.
Given the seismic shift in focus towards well-being and safety issues on holiday, the research also noted a growing number of UK consumers were no longer looking for cheap insurance, but quality cover that fully protected them from COVID-19 risks. Overall, 36% of respondents said that having the best possible insurance that would fully cover them for COVID-19 risks was now a top priority when considering a holiday abroad.
By age group, the over 55s were more likely to pick a destination based on its perceived COVID-19 safety record (56% vs. 28% of those under 34). The over 55s were also most likely to want the best insurance cover that fully covered them for a wide range of COVID-19 risks (51%).
Chris Rolland, CEO of AllClear comments: “Despite the re-introduction of quarantine restrictions, many people still want to travel in the months ahead. Particularly among the over 50s, the reasons for travel can be wide-ranging. Some want a holiday, some want to visit family, children and friends – and some have properties abroad. The crucial issue at the moment is to help protect people when it is safe to travel. Our latest research shows that safety considerations have rocketed in importance, which itself shows that the vast majority of people want to travel responsibly.
“It is also interesting to note the beginnings of a sea-change in people’s attitudes towards travel insurance, with quality taking price off the table. At AllClear, we are committed to supporting the consumer and the industry by tackling the issues that really matter today. We have done this by putting together the most comprehensive Covid-19 travel product in the market, drawing on 20 years market-leading experience. Our survey starkly shows that, for those considering a trip abroad, safety dominates the questions being asked. At AllClear we’ve come up with the answers – to help make travel safe again.”