Published on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Three in four Brits still plan to travel

Research released today reveals that three out of four UK travellers are still planning on taking their next holiday, despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The study, conducted by Holiday Extras, found that most people who've cancelled their trips have been forced to do so and it's the older travellers who are most likely to be sticking to their plans.

The travel company has been monitoring calls to its UK call centre for the last week to see what concerns customers had about travelling during the outbreak. These questions then formed the basis of a survey to airport travellers.

The results showed that 75% of people who flew out of a UK airport in the last year are taking their next overseas trip as planned. For respondents over 40, that rises to 83% still planning to travel; and over 60, to 91%.

Of those, 59% say they are travelling through choice. This is due to the fact the virus is also present in the UK or because they do not think the virus is present at their destination, or because they  are simply not concerned.

Sixteen per cent are travelling through necessity, either because they have to take a trip or can't get a trip they booked refunded

Only 10% of UK travellers say they have decided against all international travel during the outbreak

Thirteen per cent say they have cancelled a trip because they've been forced to, for example, because their carrier cancelled their booking, because a work trip was cancelled, or on medical advice

Seamus McCauley, editor in chief at Holiday Extras, said: "People, especially those in vulnerable categories, are right to be cautious about the risks of the virus and to heed the excellent advice of doctors and other experts.

"There's understandable concern in our industry about the impact of coronavirus on people's travel plans, so we wanted to understand how concerned UK travellers were in light of the information they're receiving, and help them make informed travel decisions.

"The UK government is advising against all travel, or all but essential travel, to those destinations which have seen the most significant outbreaks of the virus - mainland China, parts of South Korea and parts of northern Italy. But with travel continuing unrestricted to the rest of the world, it's helpful to see how travel plans are being affected by news of the virus.

"Clearly the majority of UK travellers are sticking to their plans to head overseas, and the majority of those who have cancelled their plans have been forced to do so.

"We'll be running our survey regularly over the next few weeks to see how attitudes to travelling change. For now, it looks like the British public are still travelling if they can."

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