March 8, 2017 / 12:04 AM / in 7 months

Study finds security tops tourist concerns in holiday choice

Empty tables are seen at the terrace of a coffee shop in Sidi Bou Said, a popular tourist destination near Tunis, Tunisia July 7, 2015. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

LONDON (Reuters) - Security is holidaymakers’ main consideration when choosing a destination, a research report released on Wednesday by Bournemouth University and travel search site Travelzoo said.

“Since Tunisia happened, safety and security has moved higher and higher up the agenda,” Travelzoo’s European President Richard Singer told Reuters, adding that security was now travelers’ number one concern.

A British coroner last week criticized the security arrangements of a Tunisian hotel where 38 tourists were killed by a militant in 2015.

The study said it had found that “97 percent of all respondents have personal safety at the forefront of their minds when choosing a holiday destination, and that the majority feel significantly more concerned now than they did in 2014”.

“Two years ago, the most important things to do with choosing a holiday probably revolved around price or sunshine. But now, it’s just safety and security,” Singer said, adding that travel advice needed to be easier to understand.

Some of the families of victims of the Tunisia attack said that they would have changed their plans if they had been aware of warnings about travel to Tunisia.

Wednesday’s report recommended a “pass/fail” security accreditation for hotels and landmarks, although Singer said its exact form was up to the industry to decide.

Travelzoo’s survey of 6,000 consumers in China, the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Russia, India and South Africa, is due to be presented at a travel conference in Berlin.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Alexander Smith

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