Expedia has released the fourth installment of its Flip Flop Report to reveal what people really get up to at the beach…
The beach report yields global opinions on a number of topics including nudity, men wearing speedos, sunscreen and sharks, among other things.
In particular, the study looks at which country’s residents are most likely to disrobe fully, what beach behaviours are least appropriate and even where the most attractive beachgoers can be found.
The report found that respondents from Austria are most inclined to go au natural when visiting the beach—marking the first year that Austria has held the top spot (in previous iterations, respondents from Germany won or tied for first place).
This year, 28% percent of Austrian respondents report having disrobed fully at a public beach, edging Germans (25%) and Americans (18%).
The world’s most modest beachgoers can be found in Asia; only 2% of Malaysians and South Koreans and 3% of Thai and Japanese respondents have sunbathed in the nude.
American respondents largely disapprove of toplessness or nudity at public beaches.
A whopping 62% describe themselves as “somewhat or very uncomfortable” with that level of exposure—up from 44% in 2014 – and 77% of American female respondents report that they would “never” go topless at a public beach.
Americans split on the Speedo
When asked their opinion of Speedo-style beachwear on men, American respondents were not fans.
About 48% feel Speedo-style swimwear is “acceptable” attire for men, but only 6% of American men claim to wear it. Worldwide, 63% of responding beachgoers approve of Speedo-style bathing suits.
Europeans the world’s best-looking beachgoers
The most attractive beachgoers can be expected to be found in Europe, according to Flip Flop Report findings.
Worldwide, 24% of survey respondents cited European beachgoers as most attractive, with Caribbean (17%) and American (14%) beachgoers rounding out the top three.
American respondents displayed a bit more patriotism, with 46% suggesting that the most attractive beach populations can be found right at home—in particular at beaches in Florida and Hawaii.
The Flip Flop Report also asked respondents to gauge the most annoying beachgoer behaviours.
“The Slob,” the person who doesn’t clean up after himself and leaves garbage on the beach, occupies the top slot worldwide.
Other least popular beach personas include: The Inattentive Parent, The Loud Mouth, The Encroacher, The Boozer, The DJ, The Sand Flinger, The Paparazzi , The Ogler and The Canoodler.
Theft, sunburns, and sharks
Having possessions stolen is the most prevalent beach fear worldwide, cited by 34% of respondents.
Sunburns are American respondents’ second-biggest fear (18%), with bad weather (15%) and shark encounters (13%) taking third and fourth place, respectively.
Survey respondents certainly continue flocking to the beach. About 46% of Americans said they had taken a beach vacation in the past 12 months, and 48% of respondents said they intend to do so in the next 12 months.
Among those who have taken a beach trip in the past year, 57% said they did so to an international destination.
Relaxation/doing nothing is the world’s favorite beach indulgence (cited by 74%). Reading and napping are the next-most preferred activities, at 44%.
However, about 17% of Americans work while sunbathing. Americans are the second-likeliest people worldwide to work when at the beach, trailing only Indian respondents (32%).