Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Monday, January 18, 2021

Holiday safety more important than price, says new report

Holidaymakers value safety and quality over a cheap deal according to a new report by AllClear Travel Insurance.

They also want to visit countries with good Covid-19 records and to have the best insurance policies, in particular covering them for Covid-19.

The insurance company tracked consumer sentiment towards travel at each pivotal point of the last year - the lockdowns, the tiers and the response to the vaccines - to give forecasts for what the industry will look like in 2021. 

The research was conducted online by customer insights company MaruBlue at intervals during 2020 - in June, July, November and December 2020. Each research sample polled a representative audience of 2,000 UK adults.

Unsurprisingly, it found that demand for a summer holiday was high after the first lockdown, with two thirds of those surveyed wanting an overseas holiday in the summer.

However safety was the top priority, rather than price, with more than two in five respondents (44%) wanting to visit a country with a good Covid-19 record, while 36% said having the best insurance cover possible, covering them for Covid-19, was top of their agenda.

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), while more than half (51%) of the over-55s said they wanted the best insurance cover (as opposed to cheapest) that fully covered them for a wide range of COVID-19 risks

AllClear found that of those UK adults surveyed, they were prepared to spend £1,334.82 more than they would usually on their holidays to ensure their trips would be as safe as possible. This rose to £1,644.23 for those with underlying health issues. 

In the autumn of 2020, when UK restrictions began to tighten, the research showed that the number of people looking to book a short-haul break had doubled from 24% in July to 51% in November and the demand for long-haul travel had tripled, up from 10% in July to 30% in November.

The type of break that holidaymakers were choosing reflected the impact of the pandemic. The research suggested that staycations rose in popularity - with 17% of those looking to book a getaway opting for a villa or private house, compared to just 5% who were choosing to book a cruise. 

With news of a possible vaccine announced at the end of 2020, more than half of the respondents (55%) said they would feel comfortable going on holiday again as traveling came a top priority for plans in 2021.

Chris Rolland, CEO of AllClear Insurance said: "There's no doubt that the travel industry has taken a severe multi-billion pound knock but for 2021 UK consumers are intending to travel and their focus is now more on safety and quality rather than a hunt for a bargain break."

"Covid-19 has been an assault on people's most basic freedom, the freedom to travel, and we expect to see an emphatic holiday boom this summer as the vaccine helps us to turn the tide on this terrible pandemic."

Despite the UK heading towards a second national lockdown towards the end of 2020, the survey also asked respondents which countries they might feel safe travelling to in 2021.

Australia and New Zealand emerged as destinations people think are safest to visit now - even though they can't due to current travel restrictions.

Respondents believed southern and northern Europe would be safe to visit within 12 months (56% for each), almost one in two believed the Caribbean would be safe in a year and the US, South America and southern Asia will be off limits for at least a year, according to survey results.


July 2020: Factors that became more important to those considering an overseas holiday in the months ahead

Picking a destination based on its safety in terms of COVID-19                       44%

The risk of the country going back into lockdown                                              42%

Social distancing on flights - not getting on a packed plane                              39%

Having the best insurance cover that fully covers me for COVID-19                 36%

The state of the health service in the country I'm visiting                                  36%

The prospect of having to go into quarantine when I'm back                            30%

Comfort that airports would be safe                                                                  29%

Avoiding using public transport                                                                          27%

Good customer reviews online for the safety of the resort                                26%

Paying more for quality insurance rather than getting the cheapest cover       21%

The country's track record for expertise in medical conditions that I have        20%

The ability to drive to my destination rather than use a plane                           17%

The hotel/resorts proximity to a good hospital                                                  14%


By Louise Longman, Contributing Editor (UK)



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