We’re travel culture vultures, sort of

We love to visit London or the United States, and want to see the Pyramids or the Taj Mahal, or walk the Great Wall of China. Australians acknowledge we have among the world’s best beaches, so a coastal vacation is less of a priority when we go abroad – we like to become travel culture vultures instead. Up to a point.

Hilton HHonors, the guest loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct hotel brands, ran a survey asking 1000 Australian respondents about their holiday preferences. The survey results don’t indicate whether all respondents were guests of Hilton hotels, but I think we can guess that part. Thirty eight per cent said they would opt for a sightseeing holiday versus 22 per cent who would prefer the beach.

Exploring the Egyptian Pyramids was identified as the most appealing travel activity with 2 in 5 (43 per cent) of Aussies wanting to visit.  Other popular choices include visiting the Niagara Falls (37 per cent), walking the Great Wall of China (30 per cent) and climbing the Eiffel Tower (28 per cent). Surprisingly, while Aussies are known for their adventurous spirit, only 5 per cent chose running with the bulls at the San Fermin Bull Run Festival in Pamplona.

“As a brand that is passionate about creating experiences worth sharing, it is great to see that Australians see culture as such a priority for their travels” said Jeff Diskin, executive vice president, Hilton Worldwide.

Australians appear to be sadly lacking in confidence with dealing with other languages – or perhaps it’s just the type of traveller that answers a Hilton hotel survey.

The study reveals that Australians prefer English-speaking countries, with the US (36 per cent), England (30 per cent) and New Zealand (25 per cent) coming out on top as the most desirable destinations. Other popular locations include Italy (23 per cent), France (18 per cent), Japan (16 per cent) and Ireland (14 per cent).

Is the cultural cringe still alive and well, then?

Almost half (45 per cent) of Gen Y respondents (18-29 years) voted the US as the most appealing, where the Australian dollar has remained strong. Ireland on the other hand holds more appeal for baby boomers (20 per cent) in contrast with Argentina (4 per cent), India (5 per cent) and Russia (5 per cent).

Australians’ top holiday destinations by country, according to Hilton:

1. US (36%)
2. England (30%)
3. New Zealand (25%)
4. Italy (23%)
5. France (18%)
6. Japan (16%)
7. Ireland (14%)
8. Germany (10%)
9. Brazil (9%)
10. China (8%)
11.Bali (6%)
12. India (5%)
13. Russia
14. Argentina (4%)

Australians’ top holiday experiences:

1. Visit the Egyptian Pyramids (43%)
2. Walk the Great Wall of China (30%)
3. See Niagara Falls in Canada (37%)
4. Climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (28%)
5. Trek Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru (25%)
6. Climb the Statue of Liberty in New York, US (22%)
7. See the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (20%)
8. Get a beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany (19%)
9. Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, India (16%)
10. Attend the San Fermin Bull Run Festival in Pamplona, Spain (5%)

*Images of the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower and cover pic of London Bridge courtesy of TravMedia

5 thoughts on “We’re travel culture vultures, sort of

  1. People who answer Hilton hotel surveys are obviously bland and boring and scared of countries where the language is other than their own. What a dumb assed survey. This is Hilton PR bullshit


  2. Yes, it’s one-sided rubbish favoring countries where there are the most Hilton Hotels, I would imagine. Should Taste for Travel, which tries to make itself appear discerning, really be running this propaganda? Please don’t lose your credibility.


    1. Thanks for your input, Annetta and Regina – as you can see by the way the story was written I was also a bit sceptical. The Hilton should, at least, have revealed how the survey was conducted, and where.


  3. Well, it’s probably quite true for the small sample surveyed (Hilton Hotel types) which does make it fluff for us intrepid worldly travellers (translated wanna be). Love the Taj Mahal pic.


  4. The correct name of the survey should have been Where Australians Travel According to Those Who Stay in Hilton Hotels. There seems to be a disconnect between where they go and what they want to see: with The Pyramids popular on the Wish List but Egypt doesn’t even feature in the Top 10 destinations! Anyway, the damn thing is hugely flawed. Travelling to countries where one cannot speak the language, forcing you out of your comfort zone, is one of the joys of the experience, in my opinion.


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