RICHMOND, VA,DECEMBER 1, 2016 —American travelers visiting Europe are turning away from Paris one year after terror attacks at Bataclan theater with a 12.8 percent decline in travelers during the 2016 winter holidays, according to an analysis of traveler flight plans by leading travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance.
Allianz Global Assistance reviewed more than 650,000 Americans’ travel plans during the peak holiday travel season, Thanksgiving through New Year’s, and found a significant decline in the number of travelers planning on visiting cities affected by terrorism.
While Paris endured the summer vacation season with a moderate increase in booking interest, the City of Lights fell from 80,214 travelers in the 2015 winter holiday season to 69,975 in 2016. The number of travelers to Istanbul, meanwhile, fell by 60.2 percent and Brussels was down by 19.6 percent.
The three cities lost a combined 19,082 travelers in 2016 versus the previous year. By comparison, the top six cities in Europe with major increases of between 16.1 and 30.8 percent added a combined total of 18,073 new travelers – still less than the amount lost by Paris, Istanbul and Brussels.
Those cities that benefited most from the redistribution of American travelers interested in visiting Europe include: Amsterdam, Netherlands, increased by 30.8 percent; Lisbon, Portugal, increased by 29.0 percent; Venice, Italy, increased by 19.6 percent; Vienna, in Austria, increased by 17.5 percent; Munich, Germany, up 16.5 percent; and Budapest, Hungary, increased by 16.1 percent.
Travelers are also opting to explore different cities in the countries they visit: fewer travelers are making plans to visit Geneva (down 17.3 percent) but more are looking to visit Zurich (up 11.7 percent), both in Switzerland; likewise in Germany, the number of travelers to Berlin and Frankfurt decreased (down 9.0 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively) this holiday season versus last, while planned travel to Munich increased (up 16.4 percent).
While some major cities will see a significant decrease in U.S. travelers visiting during the upcoming holiday season, the continued interest in exploring new destinations in well-established countries helped Europe as a whole record its modest 3.01 percent increase to 694,581 travelers in 2016 compared to 673,685 in 2015. London, which saw a 6.3 percent increase in the number of travelers compared to last year, maintained its most-visited city ranking from 2015.
“While it’s clear that concerns over terrorism have impacted travel to some cities in Europe, it’s encouraging to see that American travelers have opted to explore new destinations across the Continent,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We’re also noticing that travelers are considering the purchase of travel insurance so that they have the option to cancel or interrupt their trip should there be a terrorist event at their destination within 30 days of their arrival.”*
Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com or like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.
# # #
Methodology: The data of U.S. travelers’ booking intent to purchase flights to European airports was gathered by analyzing the number of customers that went through the online booking process of airfare and package paths for partners offering Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance from June 1 to October 15, 2016 to generate itineraries for travel to Europe from the US during peak Holiday travel season (11/23/2016 – 1/09/2017), compared to the same purchasing in 2015 to peak 2015 Holiday travel dates (11/25/2015 – 1/11/2016).
|% Change||2015 |
|London, United Kingdom||150,369||159,857||6.3%||1||1||0|
|Manchester, United Kingdom||12,105||12,613||4.2%||12||11||1|
|Prague, Czech Republic||7,971||8,445||5.9%||18||18||0|
Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We provide insurance to 21 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.
* - Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A-" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on state of residence. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Non-insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.