The ‘Brits abroad’ stereotype, once a byword for sunburnt lager louts, has been turned on its head by new research from alpharooms.com.
The poll of more than 10,000 UK adults found that the British holidaymaker is far more of a culture vulture than previously thought, with 84% of holidaymakers looking forward to exploring new sights and four out of ten (43%) choosing to turn to guide books and learn more about the local area, rated over getting a suntan.
One in five (16%) respondents claimed that the opportunity to explore a foreign land is the most influential factor when booking a holiday, beating price and even the lure of the sun. The research suggests that the rise of all-inclusive holidays has not led to a lack of adventure, with 94% of travellers stating that they like to leave the resort. Two in five holidaymakers (36%) spend their holiday seeing as much as possible, and a further 57% split their time between exploring the local area and staying in the resort.
The research also reveals thatBrits are a friendly bunch abroad, with 92% happy to make friends with local people we meet, and a quarter of holiday makers (25%) even going out of their way to make friends with local people. Some 88% of the people polled are happy to have a go at the local lingo, with 31% swotting up on the key phrases before take-off and a further 56% taking the holiday as an opportunity to learn the language.
The poll also found that the over 50s were the most open to new experiences with 86% claiming to embrace the holiday opportunity to discover new places, in comparison with 77% of 18-24 year olds. Men are also keener to check out the local sights, with 38% of men stating that they ‘want to see as much as possible’ in comparison to 35% of women.
The company's managing director, Jamie Shuker, said: “These results will be a breath of fresh air for the much maligned British tourist abroad. It’s time for British tourists to be recognised as the considerate, cultural travellers that we are, as opposed to the ‘Brits abroad’ reputation we seem to have gathered. Our research shows that tourists want to learn about local culture, language and food and are a reflection of the true British holidaymaker."