Millions of British holidaymakers are booking trips abroad but can’t pinpoint their destination on the world map, according to new research.
A study of 2,000 people who travelled abroad last year shows that 53 per cent of those who went to Cyprus have no idea where it is in reality – confusing it with mainland Greece.
Just under half of people who booked a sunny break in Turkey were unable to identify it on the map, selecting Ukraine, a country which is over 1,200 miles away.
And 14 per cent of French holidaymakers found it difficult to locate France, with Belgium being chosen instead.
While 13 per cent of people lucky enough to enjoy the sunny climes of Italy were unsure of their location, most commonly mistaking it for Belarus on the world map.
And a fifth claimed they would be hard pushed to even name the capital city of the country they visited, while 27 per cent wouldn’t be able to name any of the neighbouring countries.
Claire Bentley spokeswoman for British Airways Holidays, which carried out the research by asking holidaymakers to pinpoint where they went on map of Europe, said: ‘’This research shows people are going to all the effort of booking themselves a lovely holiday abroad, and yet so many have absolutely no idea of where they are actually going.
“It is surprising to think that people are prepared to spend their hard earned wages on a holiday, without researching something as important as its location.
“We know that cost and temperature is often the most important factor for adults wanting to book a holiday, but 23 per cent of our respondents admitted they would never think to look at where it is on the map before booking.”
The study indicates that a quarter of people who travelled to Spain last year for their holiday do not know where it is on the map.
Respondents selected a variety of other countries on the map rather than settling on Spain itself – with France coming out on top.
Portugal is another destination which leaves Brits baffled – as 31 per cent of adults couldn’t pinpoint its location, opting again for France on the map.
The Netherlands caused concern for 36 per cent of people who holidayed there last year as they also couldn’t find it on the map, choosing Denmark as its home.
France was also the most common destination to be selected in favour of Germany and Greece, which 22 per cent and 29 per cent couldn’t place respectively.
Finally, even Ireland leaves Brits bewildered. Incredibly, 24 per cent who visited our neighbouring country last year were unable to say where it was in Europe, believing they were in Spain instead.
Overall, a third of respondents admitted they found it difficult to pinpoint where they went on holiday.
When booking a holiday, the temperature of the country turned out to be the most important factor for 65 per cent of people, closely followed by local attractions (61 per cent).
Accommodation is incredibly important for 52 per cent of people, and a further 48 per cent always look into what the hotel’s facilities are like.
Currency is a concern for 47 per cent of people, while others like to find out about the swimming pools (24 per cent), the nearest beach (34 per cent) and one in 10 Brits like to know where the pubs are.
But four in 10 people admit they often travel to a holiday destination knowing little about where they are going – having failed to research cultural differences, where it is on the map, where local hospitals or doctor’s surgeries are, the price of food and drink or places of interest.
Seven in 10 people realised they should be more knowledgeable about their holiday destinations in the future.
MOST COMMON HOLIDAYS % CAN’T PIN-POINT
COMMONLY CONFUSED WITH TAKEN
Cyprus 53 per cent Greece
France 14 per cent Belgium
Germany 22 per cent France
Greece 29 per cent France
Italy 13 per cent Belarus
Portugal 31 per cent France
Spain 23 per cent France
Turkey 49 per cent Ukraine
Ireland 24 per cent Spain
The Netherlands 36 per cent Denmark