Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Beach culture around the world:

The State of Origin Streaker would do okay in Germany, and France would welcome Tony Abbott.
By Motherpedia
Date: July 20 2013
Tags: travel,
Editor Rating:
agua_pool

The State of Origin Streaker was just in the wrong place in the wrong country last Wednesday night.

If he had been on a beach in Germany, it seems that hardly anyone would have cared -because German beaches top world polls when it comes to nude sun-worshippers and swimmers.

The annual study of the preferences and behaviour of 8,606 beachgoers in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia has been released by Expedia.com, known as the Flip Flop Report (no, we didn't make this up), shows that 17% of all German beachgoers are comfortable with nudity at the sea shore. The European country least likely to do it is one probably many would least suspect – France.

Those most likely to go topless – as opposed to full nudity – is the land of Aussie Princess Mary and her husband, Prince William – Denmark, followed by the Italians and the Norwegians.

The surveyed beachgoers either had taken a holiday in the previous twelve months or would be doing so in the next twelve months. Among those who have taken a beach holiday or are likely to take a beach holiday in the next 12 months, the beach – unsurprisingly - remains the top vacation type, outranking holiday reasons such as:

  • historical/cultural sightseeing
  • visits with friends/family
  • theme parks
  • skiing
  • adventure sports
  • spectator events, and
  • casino/gambling trips.

Nearly one third (31%) of Americans prefer the beach, while 28% prefer historical/cultural sightseeing and 17% prefer seeing friends and family. The French, Spanish, Dutch, Australians, Japanese and Singaporeans elevate cultural sightseeing above the beach, while New Zealanders were the lone nation to view visits with friends and family as the number one holiday purpose.

Beach worries

Theft was the most prevalent concern for most global beachgoers.

  • 54% of Americans saying having their possessions stolen was their chief fear while only 16% worried about drowning or sharks.
  • Malaysia (42%) is the only country where more residents rank drowning as their top fear.
  • 85% of Singaporean beachgoers reported a fear of sharks, with 41% refusing to swim as a result. By comparison, 71% of the the topless Danes said they had "no concern" about sharks.

What’s important

Worldwide, the most important criteria when choosing a beach holiday were the “total cost” (70%) and “weather predictability” (51%).

But more than half of Australian beachgoers said accessibility to alcohol is also “at least somewhat important”.

What to do at the beach

Guess who swims most at the beach? The Germans again! 90% of them. It’s not clear whether there’s a relationship between being nude at the beach and proclivity to swim, but they were the only group in the study who ranked swimming as their number on activity at the beach!

  • For Americans, it’s the less sedentary activity of walking on the beach (78%)
  • In India, more than half like to build sandcastles, but they’re also the most active overall. More than half also participate in water sports (52%) and 41% like to surf.
  • In Norway, Ireland and the UK, more than 71% like to sunbathe.
  • Australians most like to shop – 73% of us! – narrowly edge out by Singapore at 78% and the very busy Indians again at 76%.

Tony Abbott welcome almost everywhere

The Speedo-style budgie smugglers are approved by 65% of beachgoers worldwide.

In France, a whopping 91% of beachgoers liked them, followed closely by Italy (87%).

Australia was amongst the countries who liked them the least, along with the Japanese and Norwegians (all around 30%).

Online bookings

Most respondents to the Flip Flop Report make their holiday bookings online on the basis of personal recommendations/word-of-mouth and online travel reviews.

When asked to choose between 'all-inclusive' resorts, holiday houses, name-brand hotel chains, eco-friendly hotels and boutique hotels, all-inclusives were the most popular beach accommodation globally.

Best all-inclusive hotels

Along with the Flip Flop Report, Expedia.com has released their 2013 Insiders Select crowd-sourced rankings of the world’s best-reviewed hotels. Expedia drew their top 10 from more than 1 million annual guest reviews of more than 150,000 properties available worldwide.

Not all of them are on a beach – so you won’t necessarily see any Germans, Danes, the State of Origin Streaker or the Opposition Leader.

1.  One&Only Pamilla Resort, San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico (pictured)

2.  Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, Quepos, Costa Rica

3.  Marrol’s Boutique Hotel, Bratislava, Slovakia

4.  Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

5.  Hotel d’Europe, Avignon, France

6.  CapellaIxtapa Resort & Spa, Ixtapa, Mexico

7.  Welk Resort Sirena del Mar, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

8.  Casa Velas Hotel Boutique & Beach Club, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

9.  The Knight Residence, Edinburgh, Scotland

10. The Leela Palace Bangalore, Bengaluru, India

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