Most French, Germans and Spanish prefer British and American tourists to stay away, poll suggests

Most French, Germans and Spanish prefer British and American tourists to stay away, poll suggests
Tourists arrive at the Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on July 8, 2020. AFP
A majority of French, Spanish and Germans would prefer it if British and American tourists stayed away this summer, according to a new poll.

The survey carried out by YouGov sheds lights on the the views of Europeans after borders have opened up again and tourists are beginning to travel at the start of the summer holidays.

“People in France, Spain, Italy and Germany are all more likely to oppose British tourists coming for this summer than they are tourists from other European countries,” the YouGov polls says.

“For instance, while 40-54 percent of Spaniards oppose tourists coming from a clutch of European nations, this figure rises to 61 percent for British tourists.

“Likewise, in France the figure is 55 percent compared to 32-46 percent for other European countries’ tourists. In Italy it is 44 percent vs 29-38 percent, and in Germany it is 58 percent vs 34-52 percent.”

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The reluctance to see British tourists descend on their country is likely to do with the virus rates in the UK. The country has Europe's highest death toll for Covid-19 and the second-highest rate if deaths after Belgium.

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From Friday July 10th England and Scotland will allow travellers coming from a list of “safe countries” to enter the territory without having to go into obligatory quarantine.

That means British tourists will head abroad to countries like Spain, France and Italy knowing they don't need to enter quarantine on return.

If British visitors are not exactly wanted in Europe right now there is even greater reticence among the part of Europeans to see tourists from the US and China return.

Controversially China was included in the EU's safe list of countries (as long as Beijing took a reciprocal approach and allowed entry to Europeans) but the US was not included.

That was due mainly to the surge in new Covid-19 cases in many US states and the fact the EU doesn't believe authorities across the US have the epidemic under control.

“People across Europe tend to be most worried by American and Chinese tourists,” the study says.

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“American tourists are the most opposed in all countries surveyed (except Sweden where they come second to Chinese tourists, and Finland where they come second to Swedes). Overall 61-79 percent of people in each country oppose allowing American tourists spending time in their country this summer.

“Chinese tourists are similarly unpopular, with an opposition rate of 57-77 percent. They are the most opposed group of tourists in America and Sweden, and second most opposed in most of the other countries.”

The poll is based on the views of the general population rather than those working in the tourism industry, many of whom rely on the influx of visitors from the UK, the US and elsewhere in Europe.

In 2016, some 12 million Americans travelled to Europe with Italy, France, Germany and Spain among the most popular destinations.

One study in Italy said the loss of American tourists would mean a loss of €1.8 billion in revenue.

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Member comments

  1. A friend of a friend arrived in Paris from the states last week, no questions asked. She also “doesn’t think the virus is all that bad” so hasn’t been practicing safety measures.

  2. Nothing to do with the virus. It’s the unruly rugrats and the attitude of the parents that think they know everything about France and have the cheek to bring their own food.

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