Expedia has released the fourth installment of its Flip Flop Report, a global analysis of beachgoer behaviours around the world. 

The report yields global opinions on a number of topics including beach nudity, men wearing speedos, sunscreen and sharks, among other things. In particular, the study looks at which country’s residents are most likely to disrobe fully, what beach behaviours are least appropriate and even where the most attractive beachgoers can be found.

It found that respondents from Austria are most inclined to go au natural when visiting the beach—marking the first year that Austria has held the top spot (in previous iterations, respondents from Germany won or tied for first place). This year, 28% percent of Austrian respondents report having disrobed fully at a public beach, edging Germans (25%) and Americans (18%).

The world’s most modest beachgoers can be found in Asia; only 2% of Malaysians and South Koreans and 3% of Thai and Japanese respondents have sunbathed in the nude.

American respondents largely disapprove of toplessness or nudity at public beaches. A whopping 62% describe themselves as “somewhat or very uncomfortable” with that level of exposure—up from 44% in 2014 – and 77% of American female respondents report that they would “never” go topless at a public beach.

When asked their opinion of Speedo-style beachwear on men, American respondents were not fans. About 48% feel Speedo-style swimwear is “acceptable” attire for men, but only 6% of American men claim to wear it. Worldwide, 63% of responding beachgoers approve of Speedo-style bathing suits.

The most attractive beachgoers can be expected to be found in Europe, according to the report's findings. Worldwide, 24% of survey respondents cited European beachgoers as most attractive, with Caribbean (17%) and American (14%) beachgoers rounding out the top three. American respondents displayed a bit more patriotism, with 46% suggesting that the most attractive beach populations can be found at home—in particular at beaches in Florida and Hawaii.

Meanwhile, having possessions stolen is the most prevalent beach fear worldwide, cited by 34% of respondents, while sunburns is the second-biggest fear (18%), with bad weather (15%) and shark encounters (13%) taking third and fourth place, respectively.

Relaxation or 'doing nothing' is the world’s favourite beach indulgence (cited by 74%), followed by reading and napping.


Image Source: Kzenon via fotolia

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