Summer holidays: a break from the crisis?

The latest Harris Interactive exclusive poll, in partnership with FRANCE 24 and the International Herald Tribune examines the impact of the crisis on summer vacation plans for Europeans and Americans.





Despite the anxieties and stresses of the economic crisis, few Europeans or Americans plan to give up their summer holidays, according to a Harris Interactive poll conducted in partnership with FRANCE 24 and the International Herald Tribune


Among the 6,304 adults from France, Germany, Britain, Spain and the United-States polled, the Germans and the British recorded the least impact of the crisis on their vacation plans. In Germany, 45% said the economic downturn would have no impact at all on their upcoming summer holidays, followed by Britain at 33% and France at 31%.

On the other hand, Spaniards were the most likely to scrap their vacation plans due to the crisis - 31% of Spaniards polled said they did not plan to go on vacation this year, followed by Americans at 30%.

Citizens from most countries, however, said they were set to adjust their vacation plans. While 7% of the total number of people polled said they would adjust their plans, the French were most likely to cancel their holiday plans (12%) while only 1% of Germans said they would cancel their vacations.

Nearly a quarter of the Spaniards polled (24%) were reducing their holiday budget while 14% of the Italians and 12% of the Americans polled said they would shorten their vacations.

Leaving your worries at home

One reason why so few people are cancelling their vacations could be that the summer holidays provide a welcome break from the daily anxieties over the crisis.

More than half (55%) of the Britons polled said they planned to leave their economic worries behind while on vacation. The French and the Spaniards tied at 51%. On the other hand, 54% of the Americans polled said they would be bringing their troubles with them on their summer break.

Across the Atlantic, the number of vacation days is likely to be shortened this summer. In 2008, Europeans and Americans took a break of more than 11 days on an average. That figure has dropped to less than 10 days in 2009.

This summer, like last summer, Americans will be taking the least number of vacation days - an average of six days this year, compared to seven last year. Spaniards, on the other hand, take the highest number of vacation days. This year, the average Spanish summer vacation is 14 days compared with 17 in 2008.

Both Europeans and Americans express strong feelings about their leaders’ vacations. One third of adults polled in the six countries believe their heads of state should cut short their vacation and almost a third think that their leaders should totally scrap their vacation plans.



The latest poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive, in partnership with FRANCE 24 and The International Herald Tribune, among a total of 6,304 adults (aged 16-64) within France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United-States; and adults (aged 18-64) in Italy, from 27th may to 1st june 2009. The data were weighted, where necessary, by age, gender, education, region and Internet usage to make it representative of the general population profile for each country. Propensity score weighting was applied to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.


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