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Revealed: Brits’ Top Travel Fear in 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Amid the global pandemic, here at Schofields we’ve run a survey of 1000 British travellers to uncover their concerns around travel in the coming year. The data has revealed that travel companies going bust, meaning their flights, accommodation and bookings are cancelled, is the biggest travel fear for over half of Brits. 

Our poll asked Brits to choose their biggest fears for travel in 2021. We discovered that booking holidays next year comes with a number of concerns for Brits. For most (51%), the biggest worry is the uncertainty over the financial future of the travel companies they book with – will the airlines still be running flights to your destination? Will they go bust and you’ll lose money on your booking?

Fears over personal health and safety have also dampened the usual enthusiasm Brits have for international travel. For 35%, the heightened risk that comes with travelling, including being in a confined space with recirculated air, such as a plane, or coming into close contact with others in busy spaces like airports, was a big concern. The worry that the destination may still be adversely affected by the pandemic was also a factor in this response.

Plane wing

The fears Brits expressed in the survey were:

  • Travel companies going bust – 51%
  • Risks to personal health when travelling – 35%
  • Travel being more expensive – 9%
  • Difficulties in finding good value travel insurance – 3%
  • The effects of Brexit – 2%

Back in March, travellers weren’t too concerned about their future holiday plans when the outlook appeared that they simply needed to delay trips for a couple of months. Now it has become clear that the effects of Covid-19 will be felt well into 2021, both in terms of personal health while travelling and the financial status of travel companies.

Many people are already struggling financially this year as a result of the pandemic – being furloughed, hours cut, or even losing their jobs entirely. After months of confinement, people are already dreaming of getting a break away in 2021, but the risk of airlines and holiday companies cancelling flights and bookings is just another thing they don’t need to add to their mental load.

Risks to personal health is obviously also a priority for many, but hopes for a vaccine by the time we reach peak holiday season in 2021 means this isn’t top of the list of fears for most. Another valid concern this survey has thrown out is that due to demand, travel will be more expensive – social distancing may result in less seats being sold on planes meaning that those which are available are more costly.

We were surprised to find that only 2% of respondents chose the effects of Brexit as their top concern for travelling in 2021. In any normal circumstances, we would expect this to still be high on people’s minds as they plan their holidays for the next few years, but in the face of the pandemic, it appears to have been forgotten.

So what does this mean for tourists in 2021? It will be so important for many to get away next year, but these fears will result in many remaining closer to home, taking breaks within quieter areas of the UK that are low risk – no need to worry about flights not being available or expensive bookings abroad being cancelled and no need to take crowded public transport. 

Though on the surface this all seems quite negative, the lockdown will shape the travel industry in new and exciting ways over the next 5-10 years. It’s become clear that not only do we travel for good weather, but for new experiences, and it’s absolutely crucial for travellers to make connections with the culture of the location they travel to. We believe that travel is the bright spark in people’s futures and travel companies are doing their utmost to come back better than ever before.

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