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Brits holiday fears revealed: Half of us fear Sharks at the beach

Press Release   •   Jul 08, 2016 14:30 BST

A global study into holidaymakers’ beach habits by Expedia has uncovered a ‘Generation Jaws’ among Brits. The ‘Flip Flop’ report surveyed travellers around the world to find global travel trends, including the most common holiday worries of Brits.

Almost half (42%) of beachgoers are scared of sharks when on their holidays, with over 6.6[1] million being so frightened they don’t get into the water and one in ten of us being more scared of sharks than anything else. This comes despite 71% of us planning beach holidays in Europe or the UK.

Expedia data shows that, with its sandy beaches and blue waters, the Ionian Islands have seen the biggest rise in bookings for this summer, by a huge 315% compared to last year. Other beach destinations seeing an increase in trips booked on Expedia.co.uk are Cyprus with 113%, Menorca with 96.5% and even Cornwall with 69.5% - all areas where Sharks are nowhere to be found.

The global odds of encountering a shark are 11.5 million to one, meaning you are 1,000 times more likely to win an Oscar and over 17 times more likely to win an Olympic gold. Despite this, Expedia has found that for 4.2 million[2] of us, running into a shark is our single biggest fear on holiday, a fear also known as ‘Galeophobia’.

Expedia’s study also found that having possessions stolen is our overall biggest worry – concerning over one in three of us. For some though, the biggest issue is having the British weather following them (bad weather, 14%) and for over a million of us[3], getting sand all over our belongings!

Not being ‘beach body-ready’ was the biggest fear for one in 20 of us, and the same amount have actually put off their holidays as a result. This means at some point, 2.3 million of us have postponed a holiday in order to get in shape first. On top of this, we spend an average of £33 getting ‘beach ready’ on things like haircuts, tanning, spa treatments and new swimsuits.

Although one in six Brits (17%) are most concerned about getting sunburned, 12 per cent of British tourists never wear sunscreen and half only re-apply when they remember. Perhaps with this in mind then, it’s more likely we will meet a lobster on holiday than a shark.

Rank What do Brits worry most about on a beach vacation? Percentage
1 Having your wallet/ passport/ possessions stolen 39%
2 Getting a Sunburn 17%
3 Experiencing bad weather that prevents beach time 14%
4 Shark attacks 9%
5 Drowning/ strong currents 9%
6 Not being ‘in shape’ for the beach 5%
7 Jellyfish/ Stingrays 4%
8 Sand getting all over your belongings 3%


Notes to editors; If you’re looking for holiday deals to the hottest destinations this summer, here are the regions that have seen the biggest growth in 2016 bookings on Expedia.co.uk (Prices are for two people, 06.09.16 – 13.09.16):

Ionian Islands (Zakynthos) – Maleby Grand Hotel, 7 nights and flights for £905.54 (save £111.79)

Cyprus (Larnaka) – So White Boutiques, 7 nights and flights for £999.78 (save £637.24)

Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) – IFA Dunamar Hotel, 7 nights and flights for £1,020.99 (save £103.93)

Cornwall – The Atlantic Hotel, 7 nights for £1,162 (save £430)

Fuertaventura – Hotel Mirador De Lobos Golf, 7 nights and flights for £816.53 (save £39.46)

[1] 14% of British people refuse to swim as a result of sharks. 14% of UK Adult population (47,358,000) is 6,630,120

[2]9% of British people rank shark attacks as their number one holiday fear. 9% of 47,358,000 is 4,262,220

[3]3% of British people are most scared of getting sand over their belongings when on holiday. 3% of 47,358,000 is 1,420,740

About the research

Expedia® commissioned Northstar to carry out the ‘flip flop’ report. They asked 11,115 people aged over 18+ across 24 countries.

About Expedia

Expedia® is one of the world's leading full-service online travel agents offering access to hundreds of thousands of hotels including boutique hotels as well as major hotel brand names and access to over 400 airlines along with a wide selection of car hire and destination experiences. By combining choice with specialist tools to help refine these options, Expedia.co.uk helps travellers to find and create the trip that best matches their individual requirements. Now with the award-winning Expedia mobile app you can plan and book flights and hotels on the move. The Expedia app offers helpful tools to manage your trip including: airport terminal maps; hotel check out time and flight status notifications; maps to your hotel and a host of other features. Expedia.co.uk partners with loyalty programme Nectar in the UK enabling its customers to collect 200 Nectar points on flight only, hotel or car hire bookings and 1000 points on package purchases through www.expedia.co.uk.

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Expedia.co.uk is owned and operated by Expedia Inc.. The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia(r) Affiliate Network. (NASDAQ: EXPE) For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc. Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2016 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50

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