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Brits’ travel irritants revealed


With the summer holiday season in full swing, Agoda, one of the fastest growing online travel agents (OTA), has been asking travellers what they think are the most annoying travel habits.

Noisy travellers (57%), travellers glued to their devices (47%), and those insensitive to cultural nuances (46%) topped the most annoying habits of fellow travellers according to Agoda’s global ‘Annoying Travel Habits’ survey. Mass tour groups and selfie-takers, cited by 36% and 21% respectively, completed the top five irritants.

Chinese travellers seemingly have the highest tolerance for selfie-takers, with only 12% of Chinese respondents irritated by selfie-takers compared to Australians who are on the other end of the tolerance spectrum with nearly a third (31%) citing holiday selfie-takers as annoying.

Insensitivity to local culture nuances is more than twice as irritating for Singaporeans, (63%) Filipinos (61%) and Malaysians (60%) as it is for Chinese (21%) and Thai (27%) Travellers. About half of British (54%) and two-fifths of American travellers (41%) are intolerant of this habit.

Mobile device addiction

Almost half (47%) of the global respondents cited travellers spending too much time on their mobile devices as a grievance. Compared to travellers from other countries, the Vietnamese find those glued to their devices the most annoying (59%). Thai travellers, on the other hand, have the most relaxed attitude (31%) towards constant device usage on holiday.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, solo travellers spend nearly two hours a day on their devices when on holiday (117 minutes) — which is 15% more time than when they are travelling with friends (100 minutes) and 26% more time than if they are with family (86 minutes). Americans are the only exception to this trend and on average spend less time on their devices when travelling solo (62 minutes) than when they are with family (66 minutes) or friends (86 minutes).

Brits are the most engaged travellers when travelling together, limiting their screen time to just over an hour (63 minutes) a day; comparatively Thai travellers spend more than two hours a day (125 minutes) on the phone when they travel with friends or family.

To encourage travellers to pay attention and really experience new destinations without their faces in their screens, Agoda has launched a ‘Selfie Fail’ campaign comprising of cheeky listicles and a video montage highlighting the pitfalls of smartphone dependence.

Styled in the format of ‘epic fail’ videos, Australian comedian Ozzyman narrates footage of real travellers getting into silly accidents and situations as a result of paying more attention to their devices than to their surroundings.

Top irritants for British travellers:

  • Noisy travellers (56%), insensitivity to cultural nuances (54%) travellers glued to their devices (45%) are the most annoying for British travellers
  • Tolerance for noisy companions decreases with age: 68% of those aged 55 and older found noisy travellers the most annoying, versus 47% of 18 to 24-year-olds
  • Brits spend one hour a day on their phones when travelling (around 60 minutes) with family and friends; This rises to almost an hour and a half (85 minutes) when travelling alone.

The Agoda ‘Annoying Travel Habits’ research was conducted by independent market research firm  YouGov between June 19th and 25th 2018. 10,384 respondents were interviewed online and are representative of those who have been on holiday at least once in the past year. Within their countries: UK (1,418), US (597), Australia (837), Singapore (913), Malaysia (1,002), Philippines (1,011), Indonesia (1,063), Vietnam (999), Thailand (1,062) and China (1,482).

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