Sunday 25 September 2016

Terror attacks create holiday bargains for some; no-go areas for others

Changing landscapes

Published 21/08/2016 | 00:00

An empty beach in Tunisia. Photo: Getty
An empty beach in Tunisia. Photo: Getty
Aerial view of Paris at night, France. Photo: Deposit
Holidaymakers view flowers left on Marhaba beach where 38 people were killed in a terrorist attack in June 2015 in Sousse, Tunisia
Capital of cool: Brussels' Grand Place
Sun loungers on a beach in Turkey. Photo: Deposit
French soldiers patrol at the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. AP Photo/Peter Dejong

80pc of Irish holidaymakers will avoid places at risk from terrorist attacks, according to a survey released this week.

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France was cited as the country most at risk from terrorism by 94pc of respondents to the survey, carried out by insurer 123.ie.

Turkey and Tunisia ranked next at 91pc and 87pc respectively.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) currently advises Irish citizens to exercise "a high degree of caution" in France, Turkey and Thailand, though it stops short of recommending against "non-essential travel", which is the case in Tunisia and most parts of Egypt.

As holidaymakers pull back from destinations on foot of terror fears, one knock-on effect has been a dramatic fall in the price of flights, hotels and packages.

Here's a snapshot of the changing landscape.

Paris & France

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Recent Events: Terror attacks in Paris and Nice have rocked the nation. Hotel bookings halved in Paris this July, according to the country's tourism ministry.

Flights: Ryanair currently has one-way fares from Dublin to Paris Beauvais from €16.99 each way. Aer Lingus has one-way fares to Charles De Gaulle from €44.99.

Prices: HotelsCombined.ie has two nights at the 4-star Le Marcel Hotel in Paris from €300 (€75pppn) – a saving of €438 on rack rates, based on two adults sharing a standard double. ClickAndGo.com has a two-night, weekend break in a 4-star hotel with Aer Lingus flights from €259pp on September 9th.

DFA Advice: "Irish citizens throughout France should exercise a high degree of caution, and follow the instructions of local authorities."

Bear in mind: Last year, France was the world's most visited tourist destination, despite several high profile terror attacks.

Read the full travel advice here.

Turkey

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Background: A state of emergency following an attempted coup on July 15, and numerous attacks including explosions that killed 41 at Ataturk Airport this July, are among several incidents to have spooked potential visitors this year.

Flights: Turkish Airlines (turkishairlines.com) has return flights from Dublin to Istanbul from €192pp in late September, including checked luggage.

Prices: Sunway (sunway.ie) has flights plus 14 nights at the 4-star Golden Wings Hotel in Kusadasi from €584pp based on a September 27 departure.

DFA Travel Advice: "Our advice to Irish citizens in Turkey or intending to travel to Turkey is to exercise a high degree of caution."

Bear in Mind: The holiday resorts of Kusadasi and Izmir are some 500km from Istanbul, where the above incidents occured.

Read the full travel advice here.

Thailand

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Recent Events: Terrorist attacks took place in Bangkok in 2012 and 2015, Koh Samui in 2015, amd Chiang Mai in 2010. The political situation remains unpredictable.

Prices: Travelmood (travelmood.ie) has flights plus eight nights at a 4-star resort on Koh Samui from €839pp in September. Tropical Sky (tropicalsky.ie) has a five-star, seven-night package from €1,369pp in October, saving €500.

DFA Travel Advice: Travellers should exercise a high degree of caution. "Any Irish citizens in Thailand should maintain a strong level of security awareness, monitor the local media closely and follow the instructions of the Thai authorities."

Bear in mind: The vast majority of trips pass without incident, but travellers should avoid the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Sonkhla entirely.

Read the full travel advice here.

Brussels & Belgium

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Recent events: Multiple explosions occurred on March 22, at Brussels Airport at Zaventem and Maalbeek Metro Station. The airport took two-and-a-half months to fully resume operations.

Flights: Ryanair has one-way fares to Brussels from €14.99.

Deals: ITAA Member SuperBreak (superbreak.ie) has a three-night Christmas markets trip to Brussels departing December 9 for just €200pp. The price includes return flights and accommodation at the Hilton Brussels City. Cassidy Travel (cassidytravel.ie) has 3-star city breaks from €132 for two people.

DFA Travel Advice: "Irish citizens planning travel to Brussels are advised to remain vigilant, exercise extreme caution and stay away from crowded areas."

Bear in mind: 2.4 million passengers travelled through Brussels Airport in July, making it the second busiest July ever a record month in 2015.

Read the full travel advice here.

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Prices have also plummeted in Egypt and Tunisia, but the DFA recommends against non-essential travel to these areas, so we haven't included them here.

The 123.ie survey was carried out amongst 771 adults in Ireland, and though it found terror attacks to have influenced respondents' choice of destinations, it doesn't appear to show any dampening in demand for travel.

72pc of respondents were planning a foreign holiday this year, with Spain the most popular single holiday destination for 41pc of those surveyed.

By contrast, just 14pc were planning a trip to France.

Mexico (72pc), South Africa (68pc) and Russia (46pc) were perceived to be the most risky in relation to crime, while Russia and Greece’s political regime / instability were said to pose a risk to travel by 44pc and 42pc of respondents respectively. 

NB: Prices correct going to press, but subject to change.

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