The perfect holiday destination has the architecture, culture and cuisine of Italy, the transport network of Japan – and the English sense of humour, research revealed.

A study carried out among 2,000 people across the UK including Northern Ireland, who regularly holiday abroad, found the dream location for a sunshine break also has the climate of Spain, and beaches like the Caribbean.

People in the UK would also like the friendliness of the USA, but the romance most commonly found in Italy.  The study also found one in six people polled travel to the same destination every year because they enjoy themselves so much.

Yesterday Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, which commissioned the study said:  “Booking a holiday can be an absolute minefield for people who don’t have hours and hours of spare time.

“Experience tells us that people often struggle to book their perfect holiday because they want lots of elements of different locations, all rolled up into one package.

“This study reinforces this notion – and while Italy is clearly one of the most popular holiday destinations, coming top of five out of the 10 categories specified, people in the UK also want to experience a bit of Japan, the Caribbean, the Maldives, USA and England.

“Which is why we’ve launched a picture my holiday tool using picture selection to provide holiday inspiration in a quick and fun way.”

The study shows the USA has the second best holiday cuisine, according to 19 per cent of people in the UK.  And as well as loving Italian architecture, 20 per cent of people would be happy to spend time looking at the temples of Ancient Greece while on a two week break abroad.  The USA featured well in the survey, in addition to its friendly locals, 16 per cent of people rate the transportation system.

The Maldives took second place twice in the poll – for having great beaches and a lovely hot climate.  France was voted as the second romantic country, while Australia was just pipped to the post by Italy for being the most beautiful.

Interestingly, the Irish came out well in the study, appearing second highest for sense of humour and friendliness.  The study indicates that after cost, weather, food and scenery are the most important elements to consider for a perfect holiday.

But four in 10 people admit to being indecisive when it comes to where to book, with 47 per cent often getting overwhelmed by the amount of destinations on offer.  Unsurprisingly, a third say it is impossible to find a destination which meets all of their requirements.

Claire Bentley, BA Holidays MD continued: “Italy, Greece, USA and the Caribbean all feature in our top selling holiday destinations so it’s no surprise they have come out so well when it comes to analysis of the elements that influence our choice of holiday destination.




                                                                  WINNER                                   RUNNER-UP

Best food                                 Italy (44 per cent)                                USA (19 per cent)

Architecture                               Italy (39 per cent)                       Greece (20 per cent)

Transportation                           Japan (24 per cent)                          USA (16 per cent)

Beaches                                   Caribbean (38 per cent)              Maldives (35 per cent)

Most beautiful / scenic              Italy (35 per cent)                       Australia (25 per cent)

Climate                                     Spain (31 per cent)                         Maldives (29 per cent)

Friendliest                                 USA (30 per cent)                           Ireland (23 per cent)

Best sense of humour            England (42 per cent)                   Ireland (25 per cent)

Most romantic                           Italy (50 per cent)                       France (34 per cent)

Culture                                      Italy (28 per cent)                              Japan (23 per cent)

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