How Global Voices Shape Travel Choices

The Impact of Consumer Apprehension on Travel Intention

Program Details

Sponsors and Partners:


A plethora of global incidents have made headlines this past year—including terrorist attacks, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, regional conflict, political upheaval, crime or civil unrest, airline tragedies and cruise line accidents and food safety issues—that have impacted travel plans, schedules and intentions. News coverage, social media postings and government warnings have often exacerbated or raised traveler concerns and worries, as well as influenced or helped change many travel plans and intentions around the world.

Research shows that safety and security is the most important consideration when choosing an international travel destination. According to a CNN study, this was listed as the number one factor influencing travel itineraries by 67 percent of 3,106 travelers surveyed in more than 70 countries worldwide. Indeed, it was more important than price, reputation, availability of information and things to do in shaping travel decisions and picking travel destinations.  

Given this scenario, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and its GeoBranding Center teamed with a select group of media partners and travel communities to understand the degree to which safety, security and health concerns are influencing travel planning, mode of travel and destination selection. Key areas of exploration included:

  • To what degree have travel anxieties or apprehensions altered travel plans or intentions
  • What are the top reasons causing travelers to avoid certain destinations
  • What news or events contribute the most to travel avoidance and distress
  • Which parts of the world have the highest level of health, safety and security concerns
  • What infectious diseases or illnesses most worry travelers
  • What are the most trusted and reliable sources of information on safe travel
  • What level of interest is there in travel insurance and what types of coverage are most valued
  • Which travel destinations are considered the safest and which are considered the most risky
  • What factors are discouraging travel to certain emerging and lesser known destinations like Africa



Studies & White Papers

November 2015 - 2015 Global Terrorism Report - Vision of Humanity

2014 - The Effects of Terrorism on the Travel and Tourism Industry - International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimmage

Travel Guard - Overview of Ebola for Travelers

Travel Guard - Epidemic vs. Pandemic White Paper

Travel Guard - Travel Health Tips


November 2015 - Africa's Private Sector Needs to Drive Response to Tourism Decline Over Destination Safety Fears - GeoBranding Center

November 2015 - Tunisia Declares State of Emergency After Bus Explosion Kills 12 - The Globe and Mail

November 2015 - Apparent Suicide Attack on Tunisian Presidential Guard Bus Kills 12 - Reuters

November 2015 - U.S. Issues Worldwide Travel Alert Over Terror Threats - BBC News

October 2015 - Overview of Recent Global Plane Accidents -

August 2015 - Where Not to Go in the Middle East - Independent Traveler

August 2015 - Five Reasons Why Chinese Outbound Tourism Will Continue To Grow Even In Times Of Crisis - Forbes

July 2015 - Greek crisis intensifies: Tourists begin to worry -

June 2015 - How Terrorism Attacks Affect Tourism - BBC News

June 2015 - Tunisia tourism industry faces tough period as thousands leave after attack - The Guardian

June 2015 - Is it time to cancel your Greek vacation? - CNN

May 2015 - Ebola, terror attacks and xenophobia batter Africa’s tourism industry - Diaspora Community

May 2015 - Narcoviolence In Jalisco, Home To Largest Group Of Americans In Mexico, A "Serious Concern" - Forbes

March 2015 - Ebola–African tourism travels the road back from the virus stigma - BizNews

February 2015 - Concerns Over Safety of Air Travel in Asia - New York Times

February 2015 - Anti-Vaxxers Are Spreading Concern - Forbes

January 2015 - The terrorist attacks, a problem for the tourism industry in France? - TourMag

January 2015 - Survey Highlights New Concerns For International Travelers - Forbes

July 2014 - Travelers reassess plans amid Mideast conflict - CNN


Program Themes

  • Customer Behavior