The last twelve months have seen many developments when it comes to Brits’ relationship with Europe. But data from KAYAK.co.uk, examining the current feelings of British people regarding European travel, reveals that though tensions do exist, travel continues to help break down borders. According to the study, 76% of Britons feel that travel ‘helps to break down barriers’ – with 39% of those asked claiming it was one of the ‘most important ways’ to do so
This study supports the launch of a new KAYAK campaign called ‘Love Letters’, which aims to illustrate the power of travel to open people’s minds and bring them together, with videos and a dedicated hashtag, #loveurope
The feeling that travel ‘breaks down barriers’ was felt strongest amongst younger respondents, with 59% of 18-24 year olds compared to just 33% of 55-64 year olds agreeing with the statement. On the other side, 15% of Brits questioned said travel made no difference in increasing tolerance – an answer given by 19% of 55-64 year olds compared with just 4% of 18-24 year olds.
Furthermore, Britons as a whole also rejected the notion that major political or economical upheaval would change the way they thought about travel, with 47% of respondents saying that such a situation would make no impact at all on their travel plans, more than said it would make them more (6%) or less (24%) likely or enthusiastic to visit a particular country.
When asked about the feelings they have experienced while travelling abroad, most British people (51%) said they like to experience new things, while 40% were also curious to discover new cultures and countries. Thirty two per cent said they were inspired to visit more places in the future. Travelling also helps to build friendships: although 34% of Britons say they don’t have any friends from other European countries, significantly more than in Italy (7%), Germany (10%), Spain (14%) or France (16%), more than half of British people (58%) said they had made new friendships while travelling in Europe, while only 14% were uninterested in making new friends.
Which country do Britons most like to visit? The top country cited was Italy (15%). Trips around the UK were the second most popular, receiving 11%, while perennial favourite Spain was the third choice, with 8% of respondents.
The top reason given by British people for travelling abroad was to do sightseeing (35%), followed by relaxation and a break from work (24%). A vocal minority (10%) claimed to see ‘nothing’ to like about other European countries – this was a response mainly given by those of the older generation (14% of 55-64 year olds compared with 7% of 18-24 year olds)