Most Irish Tourists follow a “When in Rome” ethos

The results of a light-hearted poll carried out by AA Travel Insurance which examines whether Irish tourists are predominantly “culture vultures” or “beach bums” when visiting foreign shores reveals that the majority will make a good effort to soak up the local atmosphere and sample the native cuisine when travelling.

79% of the poll’s 12,700 respondents indicated they’ll usually factor in at least one cultural trip into their holiday.  The AA Travel Insurance poll also indicates that just over three quarters, 76.5%, try to make a point of sticking to mainly local fare when dining out abroad.   Similar numbers also said they like to venture away from the main tourist traps to get a more authentic experience.

“While there were those who indicated they like to switch off, lounge by the pool, read a few books and do little else when on a long anticipated holiday, to quote one respondent “I like to relax not receive an education”, the majority of respondents shared the sentiment: Why bother leave home if you’re no interest in what your holiday destination has to offer?” Says Miriam O’ Neill, Spokesperson for AA Travel Insurance.

70% of the poll’s respondents said that they enjoy interacting with the locals when on holiday and 52% said that they’ll generally have a go at speaking the local language even if it’s just a handful of clichéd words and phrases such as “please”, “thank you”, “hello” and “the bill please”.

Younger tourists, specifically those aged between 17 and 24 years, lag behind other age groups in the culture stakes according to the AA’s Travel Insurance Poll.  This age group seemingly are least likely to swot up on local history before they go while the over 65s were found to be the most inclined to do so.  The under 24’s were also indentified as least likely to chat to locals and to have the few foreign phrases up their sleeves with 11.7% saying they make zero effort.

 County results

The AA Travel Insurance poll throws up quite a mixed bag of results in terms of county by county attitudes towards travel and culture.  Residents in counties Wicklow (57.4%) Clare (55.5%) and Dublin (54.4%) respectively were identified as marginally better than those in other counties at forgoing inhibitions and getting stuck and making an effort with the local language.  Inversely more residents in counties Longford (16.9%), Roscommon (16.8%) and Westmeath (13.1%) than in any other county said they’ll completely avoid doing so.

Interestingly Wicklow residents also topped the poll in a number of different categories, namely most likely to wander off the beaten track and to mingle with locals.  Of all 26 counties, the highest percentage of residents in county Donegal, 7.2%, said they never venture off the main tourist thoroughfare.  

Least likely to chow down on traditional local dishes apparently, according to the survey results are residents of counties Monahgan, Donegal and Longford.  6.1%, 5.5% and 4.8% of residents in these counties respectively indicated they completely avoid doing so when on holiday.

End

Notes to the editor;

Fig. 1 How frequently when on holidays/travelling respondents indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on 12,773 responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 17.5% 34.6% 26.5% 13.2% 8.4%
Eat mainly local cuisine 23.2% 53.3% 15.1% 6.2% 2.3%
Do at least one cultural day trip 40.5% 38.5% 13.4% 5.8% 2.1%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 34.1% 40.7% 17.1% 5.6% 2.8%
Talk to the locals 26.7% 42.8% 22.2% 7.0% 1.6%
Swot up on local history before I go 22.5% 35.9% 23.0% 11.0% 7.9%

Fig. 2 How frequently when on holidays/travelling MALE respondents indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on7, 442 responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 17.3% 33.2% 26.7% 14.2% 8.8%
Eat mainly local cuisine 23.0% 53.4% 15.5% 6.1% 2.1%
Do at least one cultural day trip 36.7% 40.0% 15.0% 6.0% 2.5%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 34.1% 43.0% 15.6% 5.1% 2.3%
Talk to the locals 25.9% 42.9% 22.6% 7.2% 1.7%
Swot up on local history before I go 21.7% 36.6% 23.3% 11.2% 7.7%

Fig. 3 How frequently when on holidays/travelling FEMALE respondents indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on5,260 responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 17.7% 36.5% 26.3% 11.9% 7.7%
Eat mainly local cuisine 23.5% 52.9% 14.7% 6.5% 2.5%
Do at least one cultural day trip 45.7% 36.3% 11.2% 5.5% 1.5%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 34.0% 37.1% 19.4% 6.4% 3.4%
Talk to the locals 27.7% 42.7% 21.7% 6.8% 1.4%
Swot up on local history before I go 23.5% 34.8% 22.7% 10.9% 8.3%

 Fig. 4 How frequently when on holidays/travelling respondents aged 17 – 24 yrs indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on 278  responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 15.8% 29.7% 28.2% 14.7% 11.7%
Eat mainly local cuisine 15.4% 41.8% 26.4% 11.7% 5.1%
Do at least one cultural day trip 38.0% 33.2% 16.6% 9.2% 3.3%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 24.4% 34.8% 24.8% 11.1% 5.2%
Talk to the locals 18.0% 36.8% 27.2% 17.6% 1.1%
Swot up on local history before I go 15.9% 22.6% 17.8% 21.1% 23.0%

Fig. 5 How frequently when on holidays/travelling respondents aged 25 – 35 yrs indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on 2,611  responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 14.2% 33.9% 29.4% 14.0% 8.8%
Eat mainly local cuisine 18.4% 54.3% 17.3% 7.6% 2.6%
Do at least one cultural day trip 40.3% 39.8% 12.5% 6.0% 1.8%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 28.7% 39.4% 21.3% 7.9% 2.8%
Talk to the locals 19.0% 40.5% 27.6% 10.5% 2.6%
Swot up on local history before I go 16.2% 33.3% 26.4% 15.2% 9.8%

Fig. 6 How frequently when on holidays/travelling respondents aged 36 – 45 yrs indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on 3,391  responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 17.6% 35.3% 27.7% 12.3% 7.1%
Eat mainly local cuisine 21.7% 54.3% 16.1% 6.1% 1.9%
Do at least one cultural day trip 38.4% 40.9% 13.4% 5.6% 1.9%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 32.4% 40.8% 18.3% 5.7% 2.8%
Talk to the locals 24.2% 43.3% 24.9% 6.3% 1.4%
Swot up on local history before I go 19.7% 35.2% 25.3% 11.6% 8.6%

Fig. 7 How frequently when on holidays/travelling respondents aged 45 – 55 yrs indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on 3,313  responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 17.9% 36.5% 25.9% 12.2% 7.6%
Eat mainly local cuisine 25.4% 52.3% 14.6% 5.5% 2.3%
Do at least one cultural day trip 40.8% 37.1% 13.9% 6.1% 2.4%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 37.1% 40.8% 15.3% 4.5% 2.6%
Talk to the locals 30.1% 45.3% 18.6% 5.0% 1.2%
Swot up on local history before I go 22.7% 36.7% 23.4% 10.3% 7.0%

Fig. 8 How frequently when on holidays/travelling respondents aged 56 – 65 yrs indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on 2,365  responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 18.5% 33.2% 24.9% 13.7% 9.8%
Eat mainly local cuisine 26.5% 52.9% 12.6% 5.7% 2.3%
Do at least one cultural day trip 43.7% 36.9% 12.1% 5.3% 2.2%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 38.8% 40.3% 13.7% 4.5% 3.0%
Talk to the locals 32.3% 42.0% 18.5% 6.6% 1.2%
Swot up on local history before I go 28.9% 38.6% 18.8% 8.0% 5.8%

Fig. 9 How frequently when on holidays/travelling respondents aged over 65 yrs indicated they make an effort to do the following (Based on 1,615  responses):

  Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Speak the local language 18.6% 32.4% 23.4% 15.2% 10.6%
Eat mainly local cuisine 26.4% 53.3% 12.3% 5.8% 2.1%
Do at least one cultural day trip 40.5% 37.3% 15.1% 5.2% 2.4%
Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare 31.5% 46.4% 15.1% 4.7% 2.6%
Talk to the locals 30.5% 43.7% 18.7% 5.8% 1.5%
Swot up on local history before I go 31.8% 40.8% 16.3% 6.3% 4.8%

Fig. 10 County by county split of how frequently respondents when on holiday/travelling typically do the following (Based on 12,773 responses):

 Speak the local language

County plus # of respondents Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Carlow (127) 17.2% 36.1% 23.8% 11.5% 11.5%
Cavan (119) 20.2% 25.2% 27.7% 20.2% 6.7%
Clare (291) 15.3% 40.2% 24.9% 12.5% 7.1%
Cork (1493) 19.5% 32.0% 27.1% 13.1% 8.4%
Donegal (187) 13.3% 34.4% 24.4% 18.3% 10.0%
Dublin (4854) 17.9% 36.5% 26.4% 11.8% 7.6%
Galway (545) 18.8% 31.5% 28.7% 13.3% 7.9%
Kerry (204) 15.8% 31.1% 26.5% 14.8% 11.7%
Kildare (801) 17.0% 36.1% 27.1% 13.9% 6.1%
Kilkenny (174) 13.5% 35.1% 29.2% 13.5% 8.8%
Laois (138) 15.3% 31.3% 32.1% 14.5% 8.4%
Leitrim (52) 13.7% 35.3% 31.4% 11.8% 7.8%
Limerick (439) 16.4% 36.2% 25.5% 13.0% 9.1%
Longford (86) 16.9% 31.3% 20.5% 14.5% 16.9%
Louth (257) 16.1% 33.3% 23.3% 16.1% 11.2%
Mayo (208) 13.3% 25.1% 33.8% 16.4% 11.3%
Meath (587) 17.5% 36.0% 26.7% 14.3% 5.4%
Monaghan (70) 6.3% 31.3% 32.8% 17.2% 12.5%
Offaly (144) 17.0% 27.4% 34.1% 11.9% 10.4%
Roscommon (110) 10.3% 28.0% 26.2% 18.7% 16.8%
Sligo (126) 15.8% 38.3% 20.8% 15.8% 10.0%
Tipperary (312) 17.9% 30.4% 27.2% 13.5% 10.9%
Waterford (320) 15.9% 34.9% 25.1% 15.2% 8.9%
Westmeath (204) 14.1% 22.5% 34.6% 15.7% 13.1%
Wexford (351) 15.9% 34.7% 23.7% 14.1% 11.7%
Wicklow (554) 20.0% 37.4% 23.3% 11.4% 7.9%
             

Eat mainly local cuisine

County plus # of respondents Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Carlow (127) 20.3% 50.4% 19.5% 7.3% 2.4%
Cavan (119) 25.2% 46.2% 21.8% 5.9% 0.8%
Clare (291) 23.6% 52.4% 14.6% 7.3% 2.1%
Cork (1493) 22.5% 54.0% 15.2% 6.5% 1.9%
Donegal (187) 21.5% 45.3% 20.4% 7.2% 5.5%
Dublin (4854) 24.5% 54.0% 13.8% 5.6% 2.2%
Galway (545) 23.8% 53.9% 14.2% 6.4% 1.7%
Kerry (204) 16.4% 55.7% 20.4% 4.5% 3.5%
Kildare 21.3% 54.1% 17.1% 6.3% 1.3%
Kilkenny (174) 22.8% 56.1% 12.3% 4.7% 4.1%
Laois (138) 19.7% 50.8% 21.2% 6.1% 3.0%
Leitrim (52) 16.0% 66.0% 6.0% 10.0% 2.0%
Limerick (439) 16.6% 56.6% 17.7% 6.6% 3.0%
Longford (86) 22.6% 44.0% 23.8% 4.8% 4.8%
Louth (257) 22.5% 47.7% 17.4% 10.9% 1.6%
Mayo (208) 21.9% 44.8% 20.4% 9.5% 3.5%
Meath (587) 23.1% 52.8% 16.5% 5.9% 1.7%
Monaghan (70) 22.7% 51.5% 15.2% 4.5% 6.1%
Offaly (144) 23.7% 57.0% 10.4% 6.7% 3.0%
Roscommon (110) 16.5% 56.0% 18.3% 7.3% 2.8%
Sligo (126) 19.0% 58.7% 13.2% 8.3% 0.8%
Tipperary (312) 19.0% 54.4% 15.5% 7.3% 4.1%
Waterford (320) 21.1% 52.1% 17.7% 6.9% 2.2%
Westmeath (204) 26.0% 47.4% 14.8% 9.7% 2.6%
Wexford (351) 21.1% 54.0% 15.0% 7.0% 2.9%
Wicklow (554) 31.1% 51.5% 11.0% 4.3% 2.0%

Do at least one cultural day trip

County plus # of respondents Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Carlow (127) 36.0% 40.8% 13.6% 8.0% 2.4%
Cavan (119) 40.3% 34.5% 16.8% 6.7% 1.7%
Clare (291) 41.0% 38.5% 13.4% 5.3% 1.8%
Cork (1493) 40.5% 37.6% 13.3% 7.0% 1.8%
Donegal (187) 38.3% 37.2% 15.3% 6.6% 2.7%
Dublin (4854) 41.2% 38.9% 12.5% 5.6% 2.1%
Galway (545) 37.5% 41.1% 14.9% 5.6% 1.1%
Kerry (204) 38.7% 38.7% 15.1% 6.0% 1.5%
Kildare (801) 40.1% 40.8% 12.7% 5.4% 1.3%
Kilkenny (174) 36.7% 40.8% 17.8% 4.1% 1.8%
Laois (138) 40.6% 37.6% 15.0% 5.3% 1.5%
Leitrim (52) 35.3% 39.2% 13.7% 11.8% 0.0%
Limerick (439) 40.0% 34.6% 16.2% 7.3% 1.8%
Longford (86) 42.2% 31.3% 16.9% 7.2% 4.8%
Louth 42.4% 36.4% 12.8% 6.4% 2.8%
Mayo (208) 33.3% 35.4% 21.7% 6.1% 3.5%
Meath (587) 43.3% 36.9% 14.4% 4.5% 1.4%
Monaghan (70) 27.3% 34.8% 28.8% 7.6% 1.5%
Offaly (144) 44.8% 36.6% 9.7% 6.0% 3.7%
Roscommon (110) 38.5% 40.4% 12.8% 4.6% 4.6%
Sligo (126) 48.8% 34.1% 10.6% 5.7% 0.8%
Tipperary (312) 41.0% 42.0% 10.4% 4.1% 2.5%
Waterford (320) 36.8% 40.0% 13.7% 7.3% 2.2%
Westmeath (204) 40.5% 38.5% 12.3% 5.1% 3.6%
Wexford (351) 36.4% 38.8% 15.7% 6.2% 3.3%
Wicklow (554) 42.0% 36.9% 13.4% 4.5% 3.4%

Venture off the main tourist thoroughfare

County plus # of respondents Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Carlow (127) 35.2% 41.0% 14.8% 5.7% 3.3%
Cavan (119) 31.7% 33.3% 27.5% 5.8% 1.7%
Clare (291) 33.7% 38.2% 19.3% 7.4% 1.4%
Cork (1493) 34.5% 40.9% 16.1% 5.7% 3.1%
Donegal (187) 30.9% 43.1% 16.0% 2.8% 7.2%
Dublin (4854) 34.7% 41.7% 16.1% 5.5% 2.3%
Galway (545) 33.2% 43.0% 18.0% 4.3% 1.5%
Kerry (204) 33.5% 37.0% 17.0% 9.5% 3.0%
Kildare (801) 30.9% 44.0% 17.2% 6.7% 1.7%
Kilkenny (174) 34.7% 37.1% 21.0% 5.4% 1.8%
Laois (138) 32.0% 41.4% 19.5% 3.9% 3.1%
Leitrim (52) 30.8% 46.2% 11.5% 7.7% 3.8%
Limerick (439) 31.4% 38.4% 20.8% 5.9% 3.7%
Longford (86) 25.3% 39.8% 21.7% 9.6% 4.8%
Louth (257) 31.9% 40.3% 16.5% 7.3% 4.0%
Mayo (208) 33.3% 35.4% 21.7% 6.1% 3.5%
Meath (587) 36.2% 40.3% 17.4% 5.0% 1.7%
Monaghan (70) 31.8% 39.4% 19.7% 7.6% 3.0%
Offaly (144) 36.8% 39.0% 11.0% 10.3% 2.9%
Roscommon (110) 31.8% 35.5% 22.4% 8.4% 1.9%
Sligo (126) 38.2% 37.4% 13.8% 5.7% 4.9%
Tipperary (312) 34.6% 35.5% 20.4% 6.3% 3.1%
Waterford (320) 32.3% 39.2% 18.7% 6.0% 4.1%
Westmeath (204) 30.6% 39.8% 21.4% 3.6% 4.6%
Wexford (351) 34.4% 40.3% 18.2% 2.9% 4.4%
Wicklow (554) 34.4% 42.0% 16.5% 3.6% 3.5%

Talk to the locals

County plus # of respondents Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Carlow (127) 30.2% 38.9% 21.4% 7.9% 1.6%
Cavan (119) 17.6% 44.5% 28.6% 7.6% 1.7%
Clare (291) 31.0% 38.7% 21.5% 8.8% 0.0%
Cork (1493) 25.7% 43.9% 21.9% 7.3% 1.4%
Donegal (187) 29.7% 39.0% 19.8% 7.7% 3.8%
Dublin (4854) 26.6% 43.3% 22.3% 6.9% 1.3%
Galway (545) 22.6% 44.4% 26.5% 5.5% 1.7%
Kerry (204) 30.5% 37.0% 23.0% 7.0% 2.5%
Kildare (801) 25.6% 44.3% 22.2% 6.6% 1.5%
Kilkenny (174) 27.3% 41.9% 22.1% 8.1% 0.6%
Laois (138) 22.4% 44.0% 23.9% 7.5% 2.2%
Leitrim (52) 31.4% 41.2% 17.6% 5.9% 3.9%
Limerick (439) 25.6% 43.9% 21.2% 7.6% 2.1%
Longford (86) 28.0% 36.6% 25.6% 6.1% 3.7%
Louth (257) 29.0% 39.7% 22.2% 6.3% 2.8%
Mayo (208) 29.8% 36.4% 22.7% 9.6% 1.5%
Meath (587) 25.8% 44.3% 21.5% 7.0% 1.4%
Monaghan (70) 26.1% 43.5% 23.2% 5.8% 1.4%
Offaly (144) 29.9% 42.3% 20.4% 5.1% 2.2%
Roscommon (110) 22.0% 44.0% 22.0% 9.2% 2.8%
Sligo (126) 33.1% 37.2% 22.3% 4.1% 3.3%
Tipperary (312) 26.8% 40.9% 24.0% 7.3% 1.3%
Waterford (320) 22.9% 43.9% 24.5% 8.2% 1.6%
Westmeath (204) 30.2% 40.2% 21.6% 4.0% 5.0%
Wexford (351) 28.1% 39.4% 24.2% 6.9% 1.8%
Wicklow (554) 28.2% 46.7% 17.2% 7.2% 1.3%

Swot up on local history before I go

County plus # of respondents Always Regularly Seldom Rarely Never
Carlow (127) 18.7% 36.6% 19.5% 14.6% 10.6%
Cavan (119) 23.1% 26.5% 24.8% 16.2% 9.4%
Clare (291) 23.7% 33.5% 24.1% 10.8% 8.6%
Cork (1493) 24.2% 36.2% 21.1% 12.0% 6.9%
Donegal (187) 21.5% 32.2% 18.6% 16.4% 11.3%
Dublin (4,854) 22.9% 37.0% 23.1% 10.1% 7.3%
Galway (545) 21.2% 37.8% 22.7% 12.0% 6.6%
Kerry (204) 20.8% 35.0% 21.3% 14.2% 8.6%
Kildare (801) 20.6% 33.1% 26.8% 11.1% 8.5%
Kilkenny (174) 22.5% 37.9% 24.3% 10.1% 5.9%
Laois (138) 25.6% 35.7% 21.7% 10.1% 7.0%
Leitrim (52) 25.5% 41.2% 19.6% 9.8% 3.9%
Limerick (439) 20.2% 34.7% 25.3% 11.0% 9.0%
Longford (86) 23.5% 27.2% 23.5% 13.6% 12.3%
Louth (257) 24.0% 31.7% 22.8% 12.6% 8.9%
Mayo (208) 21.1% 33.7% 20.1% 16.1% 9.0%
Meath (587) 21.7% 34.1% 26.0% 10.4% 8.5%
Monaghan (70) 16.9% 29.2% 32.3% 10.8% 10.8%
Offaly (144) 20.9% 38.8% 23.1% 9.0% 9.7%
Roscommon (110) 15.2% 37.1% 18.1% 15.2% 14.3%
Sligo (126) 24.8% 39.7% 20.7% 9.1% 7.4%
Tipperary (312) 20.6% 37.3% 21.2% 12.5% 8.7%
Waterford (320) 18.4% 34.0% 25.7% 13.7% 8.6%
Westmeath (204) 21.1% 32.5% 26.3% 9.8% 10.3%
Wexford (351) 22.1% 40.0% 19.7% 9.4% 9.1%
Wicklow (554) 23.1% 37.7% 22.5% 9.7% 7.5%