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Think back just a few months, to the heady days of “summer” 2015, and you may remember a number of world events which shook the tourism industry.
For example we reported here about the Channel Tunnel being closed for several weeks thanks to industrial action, and the terrible tragedy that occurred on the beach in Tunisia. Worry over Greece’s financial outlook also led to many travellers cancelling plans for fear of what would happen if they left the Euro.
Then there’s been the effect of falling oil prices this year, impacting the wealth of many nations. This too, has had a marked effect on tourism as Russians, in particular, have taken fewer holidays this year than normal.
However this turmoil looks like it is far from over, as yet more global threats have arisen. Just a few weeks ago Paris suffered yet another attack, essentially leading to martial law in the city. As a result, many tourists have opted to stay away from the “City of Love”, instead opting to go elsewhere. The risk of terrorism, unsurprisingly, can dampen the spirits of any holiday-maker.
Turkey is now looking ever more uncertain as a holiday destination for the foreseeable future, thanks to the terrorist threats being made there. In October this year a bomb killed at least 100 people, with 180 more injured by the blast. Sharing borders with Syria, Turkey’s position as a cheap travel destination may just be under threat.
And then of course there’s Egypt, which has recently featured prominently in the news. After a recent flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg blew up mid-flight, killing all 224 passengers, concerns have been raised about the safety of flight in the area. Experts believe that the bomb which blew up the plane in question was planted at the Egyptian airport.
In response to this many airlines around the world have stopped flying to the area. Among these are EasyJet and British Airways, both of which have ceased flights to and from the area for the foreseeable future.
It really seems that 2015 will go down as the year that global terrorism in a variety of guises significantly affected the tourism industry.
So what are we to do, going forward?
Firstly, for anyone considering heading abroad in the next year it is wise to enquire about cancellation guarantees. For example, make enquiries as to whether your airline is ABTA-registered, so as to minimize any financial loss if your chosen destination becomes off-limits.
Secondly, check with your local government website for travel advice before selecting any specific destination. In this way you will be furnished with the most accurate and timely advice regarding the safety of your chosen destination.
Lastly, consider investing in a fully-featured travel insurance policy. Under such circumstances you will have far more options (and support) if you get injured while abroad. We truly hope you’ll never be faced with some of the terrifying situations experienced around the world. But if problems do arise, it can be smart to be prepared.
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Expatriate Group & Expatriate Healthcare are trading styles of Strategic Insurance Services Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). FCA Firm reference Number is 307133. Strategic Insurance Services Limited is authorised to carry on Regulated Activities in accordance with the permissions granted by the FCA under PART IV of the Financial Services and Markets ACT 2000.