The speedo is back! And other beach facts

2013-07-18 12:58
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Washington - Mention the word vacation and your mind is almost sure to conjure up images of sandy beaches, ocean views and lapping waves. Yes, the beach seems to be most people's idea of the quintessential holiday.

However, people from across the globe tend to approach their beach holidays slightly differently.® released the results of its annual Flip Flop Report, an annual study of behavior and preferences among beachgoers across the globe. 

The survey was completed by 8 606 consumers who had either taken a beach vacation in the past year or plan to do so in the next year. Harris Interactive, conducting the study online on Expedia's behalf, asked global consumers to opine on a wide range of beach-related questions, such as comfort with nudity, fear of sharks, and tolerance of bathing suits such as a Speedo.

Nearly half of all respondents worldwide (46%) took a beach vacation in the past twelve months, and two thirds (64%) indicate that they are either "very or somewhat likely" to take a beach vacation in the next year.

"We study the beach behavior across continents because it makes us smarter - if we know up front that American beachgoers love last-minute package deals to Mexico, we can deliver the best pricing, programs and offers at the top hotels to match," said John Morrey, vice president and general manager, "It's also frankly a lot of fun."

Here are a few of the most interesting seaside holiday facts from around the globe:

- 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 #1 vacation type.

- European beachgoers are the most permissive with regard to toplessness on the beach. On the whole, across all countries: just under one quarter (23%) of beachgoers reported being "very or somewhat comfortable" with it. 

- Countries with the highest percentage of beachgoers least comfortable with toplessness at the beach (somewhat/very) were: India (41%), South Korea (40%), Malaysia (39%), Singapore (39%) and Japan (36%). 

- German beachgoers are the most comfortable with the idea of going to the beach in the nude, as 17% admitted to having bathed in the buff before. 

- 54% of American beachgoers cited "having wallet/possessions stolen" as their chief beach fear. This beat worrying about rip currents, sharks and jellyfish stings.

- 85% of Singaporean beachgoers reported a fear of sharks, with 41% refusing to swim as a result. 
- A strong majority of beachgoers in Denmark (71%) reported they had "no concern" about sharks.

- Beachgoers in India (52%) reported participating the most in making sanding castles than those in any other country except Mexico (47%);

- The Speedo is making a come back. Overall, 65% of beachgoers worldwide reported finding bathing suits like the Speedo to be "acceptable." This figure was highest in France (91%) and Italy (87%);

More information on the 2013 Flip Flop Report, including a downloadable infographic, photos and countless beach deals, can be found on the Expedia website.

Read more on:    travel international

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