23 May

ABTA reveals what Brits think about themselves abroad

Over 18 million Brits will leave the country for their holidays this summer, with Spain, Greece, Turkey and North Africa amongst the most popular destinations. We all know the stereotypes about Brits abroad, but do they still ring true? A new poll from ABTA highlights just what we think about ourselves on holiday.

The usual stereotypes are upheld with two thirds of Brits (65%)* unwilling to learn the local language and believing that the British holidaymaker speaks English to locals. Over half (55%) also consider the British holidaymaker to be guilty of rowdy drunken behaviour and 38% consider Brits to be badly dressed when on holiday.

There is some good news however, a third (32%) of Brits think of themselves as polite and 42% of us think of ourselves as friendly abroad.

Regional differences

In general, people in the North East have the most positive view of the British holidaymaker with almost two thirds (63%) pointing to our friendly behaviour and one in five (20%) stating we’re willing to learn the local language.

Some regions however, consider us to be particularly badly behaved and the table below reveals which regions think the worst of the British holidaymaker:

Perception of British holidaymakers Region National average
Extremely badly dressed 22% - East of England 13%
Extremely bad tippers 22% - Scotland 14%
Very unwilling to try new things 32% - Northern Ireland 15%
Very rowdy and drunken 53% - Northern Ireland 27%
Rude 41% - Yorkshire 31%
Speaking English to locals 77% - East 65%

*Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2012.