Brits abroad: Has the beach and booze reputation been lost?

BRITONS have long been known for their love of sun, sea and sand holidays while also enjoying a drink or two. That “cheap and cheerful Brits abroad” image has travelled around the world from Calais to the Canary Islands and as far away as Cambodia.

Tourism bosses have long tried to encourage UK holidaymakers off their sun loungers to explore new regions often though with the promise of a wine tasting or a beer festival.

And it has worked. According to tourism bosses from some of the UK’s most popular destinations Britons have evolved into high-spending, five-star staying, experiential travellers.

The Paris Tourism and Convention Bureau revealed Britons make up 10 per cent of foreign arrivals but spend the most in the French capital. UK holidaymakers spend approximately €147 (£130) per day – more than the €140 (£124) average.

Reflecting on how travel habits have changed, Luís Araújo, President of Turismo de Portugal said he had seen a shift in recent years with UK tourists visiting regions outside the Algarve such as the Alentejo wine region.

He said: “The biggest growth in Portugal is in areas that were not traditional areas for the traditional UK visitor. Like the north, the Alentejo. I think this has to do a lot with the effort we are putting in to promote other areas of interests such as the Alentejo which is attached to the wine tourism. Or there’s cycling and walking paths, there’s history and culture. There’s a huge amount of product that can be commercialised and it’s completely new to the UK citizen.

“We will be focusing a lot on not trying to attract all tourists but trying to address the message to those who already know us – convincing them that there is much more to see in Portugal.”

Corinne Menegaux of Paris Tourism and Convention Bureau, said: “[British] tourism is more high end than it was before. British people are more the ones going for four-and-five-star-hotels and I think it goes with most experiential tourism with more added value for that. And Paris has so many things to offer so it’s easy for us.

“Two thirds of people coming from the UK are repeaters so they are not coming for one thing, they are coming for multiple things.”

Beatrix Haun, of the Germany National Tourist Office, said: “Prince Charles was in Germany recently and he spoke about the history between Germany and the UK – and I can tell you the British people love Germany. It’s not only to drink wine and drink beer but it’s really the culture but also in the future sustainable products. It’s the new way after Covid-19.”

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