Relaxation vs. active holidays – this is how the world travels

The way we travel | Travel Lifestyle Network

Holidays come in many forms and sizes and differ a lot across the globe. While Americans are likely to travel within their own country, the Dutch are known to roam every corner of the planet. Research institute GfK has conducted a 17-country survey, indicating the preferred ways to spend a holiday.


When GfK asked 22.000 respondents – originating from Germany, France, China, Canada, Brazil, Belgium, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the USA – 59% have stated they prefer a relaxing vacation over an active one. Significantly is that there’s hardly any difference in responses when looking at genders, although it seems that men are slightly more lazy as 60% prefers to relax while 58% of women opt for this type of holiday.


Going on holiday with kids does not have much effect on holiday preferences, although amongst families with teenagers active holidays are more popular (39%). Holiday makers in their forties form the largest age group that prefers a relaxing holiday, 64%.


It gets more interesting when looking at the difference in source markets.


Nearly half of Italians, French and Spanish tourist have said to prefer an active holiday. Discovering the area of their holiday destination and undertake several activities is their preferred way.

In contrast, Brazilians (71%), South Koreans (66%) and Japanese (66%) prefer to relax as much as they can during their well-deserved trips.



  • 17 –country survey
  • 000 respondents
  • 35% prefers an active holiday
  • 59% prefers a relaxing holiday
  • 6% doesn’t have a preferred type of holiday
  • No difference between men and women
  • Families with teenagers are more inclined for an active holiday (39%)
  • People in their 40s are most inclined for a relaxing holiday (64%)
  • Italians, French and Spanish – active holidays
  • Brazilians, South Koreans, Japanese – relaxing holidays