Study finds women feel less safe about traveling than they did five years ago
HOUSTON - A recent women's travel safety survey revealed that 45 percent of female travelers feel less safe or much less safe about traveling than they did five years ago. Results of the travel trends survey, commissioned by AIG Travel, a worldwide leader in travel insurance and assistance services, also show that safety is top of mind for women while they are evaluating potential destinations as well as during their travels.
Further analysis of the data indicates an opportunity for employers to adopt a bigger role in educating employees about travel safety. "The local risks where employees travel may be completely different than the local risks they face in their home city," said Gaurav D. Garg, CEO of Personal Insurance at AIG. "With the help of insurers, employers can tailor insurance and security programs to meet the needs of their entire workforce."
As solo travel rises in popularity, especially among females, increased reports of violence or geopolitical turmoil in some regions may heighten awareness of individual security and impact women's decisions on where and when to journey. To help minimize risks that females may face when traveling, AIG Travel recently launched a Women's Travel Safety initiative, which shares advice on how to research travel destinations, become familiar with local laws and customs, and leverage tools in the event of adverse situations, such as kidnappings or other crimes. The initiative is also designed to raise awareness of women's travel safety through tips shared via social media with the hashtag #WomenWhoTravel.
Other key findings from AIG Travel's Pulse Poll on Women's Travel Safety include:
Two-thirds of the respondents are very likely or somewhat likely to travel alone to either a domestic or an international destination in 2018.
The majority (63 percent) of women think about safety always or frequently while traveling.
The top four risks that women consider before or during a trip center on theft and scams, such as pickpocketing/purse snatching (93 percent), credit card fraud (86 percent), identity theft (63 percent), and taxi scams (62 percent).
The top two actions that women take with a goal of increasing their personal safety before or during a trip are sharing an itinerary with a friend or family member (93 percent) and purchasing travel insurance, emergency travel medical coverage, and/or emergency travel evacuation coverage (87 percent).
The safety of a destination is a woman's most important consideration – other than her own personal interest in the destination – when booking travel.
If feeling unsafe while traveling, women are most likely to reach out to their hotel staff (36 percent) or law enforcement authorities (33 percent) for help.
Of the respondents who routinely travel for business, 84 percent reported that their employers either did not provide travel safety tips/resources or that they weren't aware of any such tools.
"As a travel safety advocate and as part of our organization's commitment to educate the public, we feel well-positioned to provide women, who may have unique travel considerations, with tools designed to help them be more aware, alert, confident travelers," said Rhonda Sloan, Head of Marketing and Industry Relations, AIG Travel. "Our research findings underscore the fact that although many travelers are already quite savvy about helping to ensure their personal safety, our industry still has opportunities to provide guidance and resources to help women minimize risks and experience safer journeys."
AIG Travel distributed the Pulse Poll to female consumers who identify as interested in travel, including followers of the brand's social media channels and women on its U.S. direct marketing email list. The survey garnered more than 1,800 responses.