Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.
Brits travelling in Europe infographic

Despite 88 per cent of the nation wanting to see more of Europe, a quarter of UK travellers won’t have ventured into Europe in the last five years

- One in four UK travellers won’t have ventured into Europe in the last five years
- Holidaymakers shun their dream destinations in favour of tried and tested locations
- Travel trivia takes a hit: 40 per cent of people think that Russia is not a European country and almost one in ten didn’t know that the Berlin Wall was located in Germany

The average UK resident has only experienced 17 per cent of Europe (seven out of 41 countries), research has revealed today.

Despite 88 per cent of the nation wanting to see more of Europe, a quarter of UK travellers won’t have ventured into Europe in the last five years. What’s more, one in five holidaymakers will only have ever been to one other European country in their lifetime, if any.

According to the survey of over 2,000 people*, conducted by leading escorted coach tour operator Leger Holidays, the most common barriers that prevent people from exploring Europe are cost, the thought of over-complicated journeys and not being able to speak the local language.

As a result of these prohibiting factors, holidaymakers are now far more likely to opt for a tried and tested destination within their safety zone, rather than exploring the Nordic region of Europe that houses many of the dream destinations they actually wish to see. The top five countries on the UK’s wish list currently include:

1. Italy
2. Switzerland
3. Iceland
4. Norway
5. Sweden

Huw Williams, Marketing Director at Leger Holidays, said:
“Europe holds some of the most exciting and vibrant destinations in the world and it’s disheartening to see that people aren’t making the most of these locations, especially since they’re right here on our doorstep.

“We were equally shocked to hear the reasons that people gave for limiting themselves to certain destinations and giving up on their ideal holidays. If the thought of visiting somewhere unfamiliar causes any concerns, there are numerous escorted tours and services available which offer additional support and expertise.

“We’d also challenge people to look outside of the more obvious ‘budget’ sector where certain airlines or networks will dictate which destinations you’ll be able to access. There are plenty of other options available on the market; many of which offer great value for money and a chance to venture off the beaten track, or a specific holiday resort, to experience more of what that location has to offer.

“At Leger Holidays we specialise in creating tours that make it easy for our customers to visit the places they’ve always wanted to see. With dedicated on board experts and over 29 years of experience in the travel industry, we can provide as much (or as little) support as our passengers need. Thanks to services such as this, there’s really no reason for missing out on the more exotic locations that Europe has to offer and the knowledge you’ll gain as a result of these once in a lifetime experiences.”

The decline in European travel has also had a detrimental effect on the nation’s general knowledge of Europe, especially amongst those under 45 years old whose prime years of travel are most effected by the current economic climate.

When questioned, over 40 per cent of people didn’t know that Russia was a European country and a further 31 per cent of people thought that Iceland fell outside of Europe too. A third of those surveyed couldn’t name the countries that make up the Benelux and almost one in ten (7 per cent) didn’t know that the Berlin Wall was located in Germany.

When it comes to foreign currency the nation is equally challenged, with one in five Brits unable to recognise the Polish Zloty as a European tender and one in ten believing that Lev, the Leu and the Krona didn’t qualify as European currency either.

Almost half of the nation (49 per cent) can’t speak a European language. And, of those who do, French is by far the most popular with 31 per cent being fluent in the language of love compared to just 12 per cent that speak German and a mere nine per cent who can speak Spanish.

Huw added:
“There’s only so much you can learn from reading books and travel guides. Experiencing a country, and its cultures, first hand is one of the most valuable and memorable ways of truly taking in a destination and we’d encourage anyone wanting to know more about Europe to go and experience it for themselves.”

The Top 10: Most Visited European Countries

1. France
2. Spain
3. Germany
4. Italy
5. Belgium
6. Greece
7. Ireland
8. Netherlands
9. Portugal
10. Austria

The Top 10: Least Visited European Countries

1. Greenland
2. Albania
3. Ukraine
4. Serbia
5. Lithuania
6. Latvia
7. Bosnia
8. Estonia
9. Liechtenstein
10. Romania

With over 29 years’ industry experience, Leger Holidays offers total financial security with ABTA and ATOL protection.

*Survey conducted with YourSayPays, 19th -24th April, with 2,147 respondents across the UK


Further information:
Contact Thomas Cooledge, Rebecca Mann or Tamarind Wilson-Flint at Lucre on 0113 243 1117 or email

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