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We were encouraged to see Greece in the top five countries to visit after the economic struggles

For more information, images or quotes please contact Catherine or Eveleen at Publicity Oxford – 01491 822645 or / 01491 822647 or

Virgin boss Richard Branson has pipped both George Clooney and Johnny Depp to the post in a survey that asked British holiday makers who they’d most like to stay with!

British travellers were asked who they would most like to stay with in a poll carried out by UK based holiday rentals specialist Owners Direct and Britain’s favourite entrepreneur came out top.

Sir Richard achieved a third of the votes with chef Jamie Oliver coming a close second with just over 23 per cent of the votes – maybe because people were hoping for a catered break! Surprisingly, only 11 per cent of British holidaymakers said they wanted to holiday with George Clooney. Other big names who made it in the top ten were Elton John, Bradley Cooper, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie and Pippa Middleton, who still only managed to achieve just 9% of the votes between them. Historian David Starkey just managed to scrape into the top 10 with 0.3% of the votes – but beat Oprah Winfrey.

One holidaymaker gave her reason for choosing Richard Branson over George Clooney: “Because it would probably be a spacious place in the country with good books and nice food and George Clooney wouldn’t fancy me, let’s face it.”

The survey also revealed the number one country people would most like to visit in their lifetime is Australia which beat tropical destinations such as the Maldives and Hawaii. New Zealand came second and India third.

Getting back down to earth, most British holidaymakers revealed that they would be spending their annual summer break in Spain. This is closely followed by other Mediterranean destinations including The Canary Islands, Greece, Portugal and France.

“We were encouraged to see Greece in the top five countries to visit after the economic struggles they are currently having. Tourism is a vital part of their economy so it’s reassuring to see this trend” says Marketing Manager Angela Southall.

Owners Direct also found via its Facebook page that holidaymakers would choose the Med over a holiday in outer space, with cosmic trips on the cards from 2013.

When it comes to destinations of a lifetime, many Brits are up for an adventure and want to travel to places like Antarctica, Madagascar and Machu Picchu, Borneo. Some opted to holiday closer to home, choosing Scunthorpe as their dream destination!

The survey also revealed that Brits are opting to take just as many holidays this year, preferring to cut back on spending rather than the number of trips they plan to take. In 2011 just under 80 per cent of people took two or more holidays and are planning to take the same amount this year.

Over 80 per cent are opting for self-catering but many (75%) still plan to eat out over four times a week. 40% of respondents said the current economic climate is having an effect on their holiday plans for 2012 but only 10% said they would be taking fewer holidays this year. 70 per cent admitted they will be spending less on holiday whilst a tiny 1% said they would actually be paying more for holidays this year!

When asked about travelling habits, only a very small minority are prepared to go solo. Nearly 60 per cent of Brits are plumping for their partners over Richard Branson, 48 per cent with their families and just under 3% on their own.

As well as dreaming of exotic holiday destinations and celebrity companions, almost all Brits have aspirations of owning their own holiday home. The survey revealed the favourite places to own a holiday home would be France, Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal with the South Coast of England also proving popular.

One person even thought Birmingham would be the ideal location for their holiday home!


Notes to Editors:

See Owners Direct infographic here:

619 people took part in the survey in January 2012.

Top five dream destinations: Australia, Maldives, Hong Kong, Hawaii and South Africa.

Notes to Editors:

Owners Direct specialises in advertising privately owned holiday accommodation direct from the owner. We have advertised holiday properties since 1997 and on our web site you will find over 40,000 villas, apartments, chalets, farmhouses and cottages. From Fincas in Spain to traditional Riads in Morocco and beach villas in Koh Samui, Owners Direct offer all types of holiday accommodation in a diverse selection countries throughout the world.

In August 2007 Owners Direct became part of HomeAway Inc. which owns some of the largest rentals websites in the US and Europe. We continue to operate as a separate brand from our offices in London.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Owners Direct in the following categories: Leisure & Hobbies, Women's Interest & Beauty, Travel, for more information visit