Fewer Brits taking beach holidays abroad due to terrorism fears

Terror attacks like the one in Tunisia have put people off taking beach holidays. Pic: PA.

Terror attacks like the one in Tunisia have put people off taking beach holidays. Pic: PA.

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Beach holidays have fallen in popularity due to fears over terrorism, according to new research.

A study by travel industry group Abta found that just 38% of UK holidaymakers took a beach break in the 12 months to August, down from 50% at the same time last year.

Experts claimed this was due to a combination of people avoiding some resorts due to terror threats and other destinations being oversubscribed.

The decline was despite an overall increase in the number of people taking a holiday, up from 77% to 86%.

Tunisia is effectively closed to UK tourists due to Foreign Office travel advice issued in the wake of the Sousse massacre in June 2015, while Egypt visitor numbers have been hit by the ban on flights to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

A military coup was quashed in Turkey in July.

Many people wanted to take trips in Spain or Portugal instead, but a number of resorts were fully booked.

Abta's director of brand and business development, Victoria Bacon, said: "The traditionally popular beach holiday destinations Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey have obviously had difficult years, either due to changes in Foreign Office advice or a perceived threat of terrorism, while some resorts in the western Mediterranean have been stretched to capacity over summer 2016.

"The survey suggests that British holidaymakers are willing to consider other types of holiday as an alternative to the traditional two-week beach vacation.

"The good news for the beach holiday is that 44% of Brits say that they plan to take one in the next 12 months."

The research, based on a poll of 1,962 UK consumers, also found that almost half (45%) are quite likely or very likely to visit a country they have never been to before in the next 12 months, compared with just 36% who said the same thing in 2015.