Student travel resilient in face of terrorist attacks

More than half of young people in the UK would not cancel travel plans to a destination that has been affected by terrorism, according to a new poll.

Only 2% said they would definitely cancel a planned trip to a destination that was the victim of a terror attack or incident.

And more than half (56%) of students said they were either unlikely to cancel or would definitely not cancel plans to travel to a destination affected by terrorism.

Similarly, only 4% of the 1,756 polled said they had previously cancelled a trip to a destination where an attack had recently taken place.

Additionally, only 7% of students cited cancelling a trip due to fears about the risk of a terrorist attack or incident taking place in the location they planned to visit.

This proves students’ resiliency and their commitment to travel, even in the face of adversity, according to Flight Centre UK-owned booking site StudentUniverse, which conducted the study.

Asked how safe they would feel visiting a destination that had been victim to a recent terror attack, 13% said they would feel more safe visiting that destination and 32% said they would feel neither more or less safe.

When examining responses from students to these same questions in the days immediately following the June 2 terrorist attack at London Bridge, several trends emerged.

None said they would cancel a trip to a destination that was victim to a terror attack or incident – compared to 11% of the general UK survey respondents.

The number that said they would definitely not cancel was 15% – compared to 11% of the general UK survey respondents. Those who said they felt “neither more or less safe” to visit a destination that had been victim to a recent terrorist attack increased from 31% to almost half (46%) of respondents.

The Westminster Bridge attack in London in March saw a 19% increase in week-on-week bookings but a 14% drop in month-on-month levels, according to StudentUniverse global bookings data.

There was no immediate impact from the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015, with a month-on-month rise of 27%.

StudentUniverse global managing director Mike Cleary said: “Students are less likely to cancel their travel plans because of world events than other travellers might be.

“These students are often embarking on once-in-a-lifetime experiences – from backpacking adventures to gap years to semesters abroad – and refuse to give up their opportunity to have these travel experiences.

“While we certainly encourage students to be vigilant and heed all government travel warnings, we are happy to see students forging ahead with their global adventures.”

Kellie K, one of the survey respondents, said: “I would not change my travel plans because of world events. I am a college student lucky enough to have the ability to travel while I have little responsibilities and would not avoid traveling because of the things happening around the world.

“I am about to travel to a country that has had tragic events in the recent past which causes me to be more alert and cautious, but I believe it will still be an amazing adventure.”