Despite the carefree nature of a sun-drenched week at the beach, beachgoers worldwide remain cost-conscious. In the US, the most important factor for 78% of beachgoers is the total trip price. The beach itself matters too – total vacation price and beach quality are the #1 and #2 criteria for travelers in 14 of the 21 countries surveyed – but the cost of the visit is the top consideration. The study also found:
The Popularity of the Beach is Unsurpassed
More than half (52%) of respondents plan to holiday at the beach in the next 12 months, compared to 45% who said they took a beach vacation the year prior. And while the average stay for a beach vacation is 7.7 days, this is less true of Koreans, Japanese and Singaporeans, who seem more likely to prefer beach weekends to extended stays. Additionally:
- Argentineans are the most sun-soaked, spending an average of 11 days at a time, while Koreans spent a mere 3.2 days per trip.
- Americans are creatures of habit: one of the least important criteria for Americans when selecting a beach location is the desire to find a new location.
- For Indians, new locations were among the highest priority.
For Most Beachgoers, the Most Popular Activity is No Activity At All
Relaxing and sunbathing were among the top two activities for beachgoers across all five continents. The Irish, at 75%, were the most likely to relax, while Mexicans (79%) seem to be happiest with lying in the sun. Brazilians (40%) were likeliest to exercise on the beach; when doing so, they may well stumble over the Japanese, who were 14 times likelier to relax (28%) than exercise (2%). Additionally:
- Koreans, at 49%, were likeliest to “eat raw food” on the beach. Koreans are unlikely to draw envious stares from Norwegians, who at 1% showed the most aversion to the practice.
- New Zealanders (36%) and Australians (35%) were most likely to fish at the beach.
- Canadians were likeliest to strap on a snorkel (34%).
- 82% of Germans spend beach time swimming. Only 28% of the Japanese do the same.
Germans are Likeliest to Sunbathe Nude
Germans displayed the most permissive attitudes towards nude sunbathing. A full 15% of German respondents indicated that they sunbathed naked. Indians and Spaniards (8%) were the second-likeliest to shed their clothing, while the French (5% clothing-free) were more aligned with Americans (2%), the British (2%) and the Japanese (1%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Germans seem to be the most popular beachgoers: when asked if they’d spent beach days with strangers, the Germans (23%) and Brazilians (19%) were likeliest to say they had.Additionally:
- Indians (22%), Canadians (20%), Mexicans (19%), Italians (18%) and the Irish (18%) were likeliest to have participated in “beach bar games.”
- 31% of Singaporeans had spent beach time at the spa, versus 3% of the Japanese and 5% of the Dutch.
- Indian (39%), Mexican (34%), Brazilian (30%) and Argentinean (27%) beachgoers were most likely to dance on the beach.
Beachgoers Have Never Gotten Over “Jaws”
Expedia’s Flip Flop Report revealed that beachgoers remain wary of sharks. Well under 100 shark bite incidents are reported worldwide each year,  making shark encounters extraordinarily rare. Yet the menace prevails: 50% of travelers consider the presence of sharks when deciding where to holiday, and a full 68% of beach vacationers admit to having been afraid to swim because of sharks. Additionally:
- Residents of Brazil (70%) and Singapore (67%) were the most attuned to sharks when planning their beach vacation.
- Only 3% of Italians always think sharks before entering the water.
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia.com from February 14 – March 21, 2012 among 8,599 adults, 18 and older, in the following countries: the United States (501), Canada (1,249), Mexico (400), Argentina (312), Brazil (308), United Kingdom (402), Germany (423), France (414), Italy (437), Spain (418), Norway (300), Sweden (300), Denmark (300), Ireland (300), Netherlands (300), Japan (429), India (438), South Korea (346), Singapore (321), Australia (400), and New Zealand (301). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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