We love to visit London or the United States, and want to see the Pyramids or the Taj Mahal, or walk the Great Wall of China. Australians acknowledge we have among the world’s best beaches, so a coastal vacation is less of a priority when we go abroad – we like to become culture vultures instead. Up to a point.
Hilton HHonors, the guest loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct hotel brands, ran a survey asking 1000 Australian respondents about their holiday preferences. The survey results don’t indicate whether all respondents were guests of Hilton hotels, but I think we can guess that part. Thirty eight per cent said they would opt for a sightseeing holiday versus 22 per cent who would prefer the beach.
Exploring the Egyptian Pyramids was identified as the most appealing travel activity with 2 in 5 (43 per cent) of Aussies wanting to visit. Other popular choices include visiting the Niagara Falls (37 per cent), walking the Great Wall of China (30 per cent) and climbing the Eiffel Tower (28 per cent). Surprisingly, while Aussies are known for their adventurous spirit, only 5 per cent chose running with the bulls at the San Fermin Bull Run Festival in Pamplona.
“As a brand that is passionate about creating experiences worth sharing, it is great to see that Australians see culture as such a priority for their travels” said Jeff Diskin, executive vice president, Hilton Worldwide.
Australians appear to be sadly lacking in confidence with dealing with other languages – or perhaps it’s just the type of traveller that answers a Hilton hotel survey.
The study reveals that Australians prefer English-speaking countries, with the US (36 per cent), England (30 per cent) and New Zealand (25 per cent) coming out on top as the most desirable destinations. Other popular locations include Italy (23 per cent), France (18 per cent), Japan (16 per cent) and Ireland (14 per cent).
Is the cultural cringe still alive and well, then?
Almost half (45 per cent) of Gen Y respondents (18-29 years) voted the US as the most appealing, where the Australian dollar has remained strong. Ireland on the other hand holds more appeal for baby boomers (20 per cent) in contrast with Argentina (4 per cent), India (5 per cent) and Russia (5 per cent).
Australians’ top holiday destinations by country, according to Hilton:
1. US (36%)
2. England (30%)
3. New Zealand (25%)
4. Italy (23%)
5. France (18%)
6. Japan (16%)
7. Ireland (14%)
8. Germany (10%)
9. Brazil (9%)
10. China (8%)
12. India (5%)
14. Argentina (4%)
Australians’ top holiday experiences:
1. Visit the Egyptian Pyramids (43%)
2. Walk the Great Wall of China (30%)
3. See Niagara Falls in Canada (37%)
4. Climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (28%)
5. Trek Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru (25%)
6. Climb the Statue of Liberty in New York, US (22%)
7. See the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (20%)
8. Get a beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany (19%)
9. Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, India (16%)
10. Attend the San Fermin Bull Run Festival in Pamplona, Spain (5%)
*Images of the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower and cover pic of London Bridge courtesy of TravMedia