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

A majority of French, Spanish and Germans would prefer it if British and American tourists stayed away this summer, according to a new poll.

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

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.”

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.


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.


“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.






Member comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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Is Leipzig really Germany’s ‘ultimate travel destination’?

The Saxonian city of Leipzig has been named by traveller’s bible Lonely Planet as its “ultimate” travel tip for Germany. Does the Local Germany’s knowledgeable readership agree?

The city centre of Leipzig.
The city centre of Leipzig. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild

Long a cult favourite among Germany fans, the left-wing city of Leipzig appears to now be gaining mainstream recognition after the Lonely Planet crowned it the country’s top travel destination this week.

In a new book titled “Ultimate German Travel Destinations – the top 250”, the travel publisher put Leipzig ahead of picturesque getaways such as Lake Constance and the Zugspitze as its number one destination.

“The hype that some say surrounds the city isn’t hype t all: Leipzig really is hipper than Berlin, and hotter than Munich, especially among millennials,” the guidebook boldly claims.

It goes on to lavish praise on the city of 600,000 inhabitants as “young, exciting, multifaceted – sometimes colourful, sometimes grey – and with a vibrant liveliness.”

“Everyone wants to go to the city where the anti-GDR demonstrations started,” the guidebook continues. “It is the home of Auerbachs Keller (made famous by Goethe and Faust); it’s the city of street art and wave gothic festivals; and its artistic scene at the Baumwollspinnerei is second to none.”

READ ALSO: A love letter to the eastern German city of Leipzig

‘Not cooler than Berlin’

Reaction to the list among the Local’s readership was mixed.

“It is a beautiful city and it’s easy to navigate. I find it hard to say that it’s cooler than Berlin, though. Berlin simply has more,” one reader told us on Facebook. “It’s the kind of place where people find their ‘spot.” I think most people in Leipzig know about most places in Leipzig. It’s a much smaller city. That may just be a more favourable lifestyle for some.”

Praise for Saxony’s biggest city ranged from admiration for the beauty of its architecture (particularly its train station) to the vibrancy of its arts scene.

Others suggested that Leipzig is indeed overhyped and that it can’t compete with natural wonders such as the pristine Königssee in the Bavarian Alps.

Lake Constance wins silver

Lake Constance, the country’s largest body of fresh water, came in second on the list.

The authors praised the southern See, which borders Switzerland and Austria, for “the many beautiful spots on its shores: Lindau, Meersburg, Überlingen, Constance and more – often surrounded by lush orchards.”

A regatta on the Bodensee in September 2021. Photo: dpa | Felix Kästle 

Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie concert hall came in third. 

“It’s impossible to imagine the Hanseatic city’s skyline without this glass work of art, which soars into the sky above the harbour like a frozen wave,” the book notes.

Also in the top ten were the Wattenmeer, which is a huge nature reserve on the North Sea coast, Berlin’s museum island, the sandstone hills of Saxony, and Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze in Bavaria.