Does Your Favorite Travel Destination Depend on Your Residence?

Written by on May 31, 2016 in Featured - No comments
Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: F Dicomite

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: F Dicomite

Everyone has a list of dream holiday destinations. Maybe you long to escape to a beach paradise or maybe you can’t wait to explore a foreign city, but do your favorite holiday destinations depend on where you come from? While you may dream of visiting exotic lands afar, the reality is that most people simply don’t have the time or money to take a big trip to a far off destination.

We take a look at some of the top places that residents of different countries travel to, as well as their reasons for traveling, to find out more about what impacts your choices for favorite holiday spots.


Does travel depend on your home country? Fascinating look at travel trends.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Darren Puttock

While Australians are commonly known for their love of travel, where exactly do they go? According to HBF, the top five countries Australians visit the most are:

In 2015, an impressive 9.2 million short-term resident departures took place from Australia. That being said, Australians still tend to prefer making domestic trips. Given their heavenly beaches, majestic scenery, and a long list of outdoor activities (you can even go skiing!), it’s really no surprise.

So why are Australians traveling? The main reasons given were to go on holiday (59%), to visit family and friends (24%) and for business purposes (9%). The growth in international travel appears to be down to an increase in low-cost flights and a high Australian dollar. With international travel now being cheaper than it was years ago, this would explain the shift.

This is particularly clear to see in the surge of travel to destinations including the Asia-Pacific region and South-East Asia. When you factor in the cost of flights and the convenience of the location, it’s easy to see why Australians are choosing to travel they way they do.


Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Aigle Dore

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Aigle Dore

So, most Australians prefer to stay in their home country when they do their traveling, but what about the Europeans? A survey by the European Commission found that 42% of those surveyed stayed in their own country for their main holiday, with 38% visiting another EU country and 19% visiting a country outside of the EU28.

If we take a closer look at individual countries, we can see that certain residents are much more likely to travel abroad than others. Take the Greeks, Italians, and Croatians for example; over 80% took time off close to home in 2013. On the other hand, Belgians, Maltese, and Luxembourgers took less domestic holidays that year, with less than 30% doing so.

The top five holiday destinations were as follows:

According to the survey, the main reason people in Europe go on holiday is to catch some sun or visit the beach. This would explain why most Europeans tend to head south when they go abroad. It would also explain why some people responded that while they most commonly visit countries near to them, they would prefer to go to sunny Spain.

This was found to be the case for Estonians and Finns, who often travel to each other’s countries, and for Germans, who commonly travel to Austria. Other reasons for traveling including going to visit family or friends, getting to nature, for the cultural aspects, and for city trips.


Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Teacher Jose Louis

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Teacher Jose Louis

According to The National Travel and Tourism Office, the top five places Americans travel to the most are:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Dominican Republic
  • France

These countries were followed by Italy, Germany, Jamaica, China, and Spain. In 2013, Mexico received about 26 million visits from Americans. With Mexico and Canada making taking the top two spots on the list, it would appear that much like the Australians and Europeans, Americans like to travel to places nearby when heading abroad.

Of course, it makes sense for Mexico to be such a popular destination. It’s got sunny beaches and is relatively inexpensive. Since half of the people state vacation or holiday as the main purpose of their trip, choosing a sunny beach destination follows the reasoning Europeans have for picking their holiday spots.

European countries took up five of the top 10 spots. One reason for this might be down to the Visa Waiver Program. The fact that Americans don’t need a visa for a number of European countries makes traveling there far easier and more appealing. Furthermore, with the Euro-to-Dollar exchange rate having dropped in recent times, traveling to Europe is cheaper than it has been in years.


Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Aigle Dore

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Aigle Dore

Travel habits in Asian appear to be changing, with more Asians venturing abroad than ever before. This is particularly the case for the Chinese, who ranked number one in a global list of top travel spenders. Chinese travelers grew from a mere 10 million in 2000 to an impressive 83 million in 2012.

For Asians traveling outside the region, the top places to visit were:

  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • South West Pacific
  • Latin America

Simplifying visa applications could be part of the appeal for Western countries such as Germany, France, and the UK. The UK Prime Minister announced that from 2016 tourists from China will have their standard visitor visas extended from six months to 2 years for the same price. These types of changes were made to bring significant benefits to the British economy, and it appears to be working.

Surveys conducted by travel agencies in China further support these findings. Outbound tourism is expected to enjoy substantial growth thanks to more favorable visa policies, an increase in the number of international flights being operated, and the summer holiday travel peak.

What It Means

It is no surprise that money and convenience play a big part in choosing your holiday destination. It explains why many people opt to travel within their own country or to locations nearby. Not only is it more convenient, but also travel costs tend to be cheaper, and it cuts down on the amount of time it takes to get to places.

For Australians, this makes further sense given their geographical location. Still, nothing beats a beach and a bit of sunshine when you go on vacation. This easily explains the popularity of places like Spain and Mexico. Do these traveling trends ring familiar to you?

About the Author

Diana Edelman is an avid traveler who recently spent four years living as an expat. Most notably, Diana spent nearly three years in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she worked with Save Elephant Foundation to raise awareness about the realities of elephant tourism. Currently based in Las Vegas, Diana works in many industries as a publicist, social media expert, content creator and journalist. The founder of Vegans, Baby, you can normally find her hanging out at vegan restaurants around town, exploring the beauty of the desert southwest or camped out at a coffee shop banging on a keyboard. The co-founder of the Responsible Travel & Tourism Collective, Diana has spoken at conferences about travel blogging and responsible tourism.

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