Travelocity Takes a Lesson from Its European Counterparts: Survey Reveals the Truth about International Vacationers

Business Editors/Travel Editors

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 12, 2006–Most Americans know Europe for its picturesque travel destinations, historical monuments and legendary cities. But, what do Europeans think of their close neighbors and how will that influence American pond hoppers? Knowing that the best travel information comes from locals, Travelocity editors tapped their sister company in Europe to learn how Europeans themselves rate the food, attractiveness and even social skills of other European nationals.

“European travel is on the rise and insider information is always the best to make sure you pick the best spots,” said Amy Ziff, Travelocity’s editor-at-large. “This poll provides a mix of fun, and sometimes down right shocking, insights into what Europeans really think of each other.”

For Americans, France is often coveted as the very best destination for world-class cuisine. But Europeans actually rank Italy as having the best food on the continent. Notable dissenters were France and Spain, both voting for their own country as having the best eats. Of course, where there is good there is bad. The vote for the worst food went to the United Kingdom. The Brits insist that title belongs squarely to Germany. (Perhaps that depends on whether you prefer haggis to weinershcnitzel?)

But food isn’t everything. Let’s talk candy, and we’re not comparing Swiss chocolate to Belgian. We’re talking eye-candy and beachwear. So just who is the hottest on the sand and surf? Most Europeans voted for the Italians, except the Spanish, who claimed that they have the best bods for bathing. The prize for worst beach bods went to the Brits first and the Germans second.

Alas, looks can only take you so far. When it comes to real popularity you need personality. In this category, Spaniards are the clear winners and the Germans the losers. (Incidentally, the Germans actually prefer spending time with other nationalities as well.) Traveling amongst the Spaniards is a sure way to boost your next European adventure.

    American's Favorite European Destinations

    --  Great Britain

    --  Italy

    --  Germany

    --  France

    --  Spain

    --  Ireland

    --  Greece

    --  Netherlands

    --  Switzerland

    --  Sweden

    Advice for Americans Traveling Abroad*

    --  Be humble. In many countries, boasting is considered very

    --  Dress for respect. Know what is expected. Bring scarves,
        headwear or whatever is required.

    --  Be patient. Americans talk fast. Eat fast. Move fast. Live
        fast. Many cultures do not.

    --  Live, eat and play local. Most people believe that Americans
        have the most fun when they are in their own company. Prove
        them wrong.

    --  Gestures are a powerful language in any culture. Study up on

    *Source: World Citizens Guide

    Other Survey Findings

    --  The British, Italians, Spanish and Danes seek adventure on
        their vacations.

    --  The Germans want to relax and get away from it all when on

    --  The Italians are most likely to travel with friends.

    --  The Spanish and French are most likely to travel with extended

    --  All European nationals (much like Americans) prefer a variety
        of things to do while on vacation, including beach, shopping
        and entertainment.

                          Total Respondents
                                        Italy France Spain Germany UK
--------------------------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------- ---
What country has the best food?           56%    21%   12%      4%  3%
--------------------------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------- ---
What country has the worst food?           2%    12%    2%     17% 67%
--------------------------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------- ---
What nation looks best on the beach?      50%    10%   28%      8%  4%
--------------------------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------- ---
What nation looks worst on the beach?      5%     6%    4%     36% 49%
--------------------------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------- ---
What nation do people like to socialize
 with on vacation?                        35%    10%   38%      6% 11%
--------------------------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------- ---
What nation do people avoid on
 vacation?                                16%    17%    3%     29% 35%
--------------------------------------- ----- ------ ----- ------- ---

*This survey was conducted online at in June 2006 with 11,500 total respondents.

About Travelocity

Travelocity is committed to being the traveler’s champion – before, during and after the trip and guarantees everything about a customer’s booking will be right. If it’s not, Travelocity will work with its partners to make it right, right away. This customer-driven focus, backed by live 24/7 phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the fifth largest travel agency in the U.S. – booking $7.4 billion in travel worldwide in 2005. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity Business(SM) and GetThere for corporate travelers,, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG), a world leader in travel commerce.

Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222

SOURCE: Travelocity