Most French, Germans and Spanish prefer British and American tourists to stay away, poll suggests

A majority of French, Spanish and Germans would prefer it if British and American tourists stayed away this summer, according to a new poll.

Most French, Germans and Spanish prefer British and American tourists to stay away, poll suggests
Tourists arrive at the Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on July 8, 2020. AFP

The survey carried out by YouGov sheds lights on the the views of Europeans after borders have opened up again and tourists are beginning to travel at the start of the summer holidays.

“People in France, Spain, Italy and Germany are all more likely to oppose British tourists coming for this summer than they are tourists from other European countries,” the YouGov polls says.

“For instance, while 40-54 percent of Spaniards oppose tourists coming from a clutch of European nations, this figure rises to 61 percent for British tourists.

“Likewise, in France the figure is 55 percent compared to 32-46 percent for other European countries’ tourists. In Italy it is 44 percent vs 29-38 percent, and in Germany it is 58 percent vs 34-52 percent.”

The reluctance to see British tourists descend on their country is likely to do with the virus rates in the UK. The country has Europe's highest death toll for Covid-19 and the second-highest rate if deaths after Belgium.


From Friday July 10th England and Scotland will allow travellers coming from a list of “safe countries” to enter the territory without having to go into obligatory quarantine.

That means British tourists will head abroad to countries like Spain, France and Italy knowing they don't need to enter quarantine on return.

If British visitors are not exactly wanted in Europe right now there is even greater reticence among the part of Europeans to see tourists from the US and China return.

Controversially China was included in the EU's safe list of countries (as long as Beijing took a reciprocal approach and allowed entry to Europeans) but the US was not included.

That was due mainly to the surge in new Covid-19 cases in many US states and the fact the EU doesn't believe authorities across the US have the epidemic under control.

“People across Europe tend to be most worried by American and Chinese tourists,” the study says.


“American tourists are the most opposed in all countries surveyed (except Sweden where they come second to Chinese tourists, and Finland where they come second to Swedes). Overall 61-79 percent of people in each country oppose allowing American tourists spending time in their country this summer.

“Chinese tourists are similarly unpopular, with an opposition rate of 57-77 percent. They are the most opposed group of tourists in America and Sweden, and second most opposed in most of the other countries.”

The poll is based on the views of the general population rather than those working in the tourism industry, many of whom rely on the influx of visitors from the UK, the US and elsewhere in Europe.

In 2016, some 12 million Americans travelled to Europe with Italy, France, Germany and Spain among the most popular destinations.

One study in Italy said the loss of American tourists would mean a loss of €1.8 billion in revenue.






Member comments

  1. Nothing to do with the virus. It’s the unruly rugrats and the attitude of the parents that think they know everything about France and have the cheek to bring their own food.

  2. A friend of a friend arrived in Paris from the states last week, no questions asked. She also “doesn’t think the virus is all that bad” so hasn’t been practicing safety measures.

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Tourism minister: Book your French ski holiday now

France’s ski resorts will be open for business this winter, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has promised - but no decision has yet been taken on whether a health pass will be required to use ski lifts.

Skiers at a French Alpine resort
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

“This winter, it’s open, the resorts are open,” Lemoyne told France 2’s 4 Vérités programme.

“Compared to last year, we have the vaccine,” he said, adding that he would “invite those who have not yet done so to [book], because … there will soon be no more room.”

And he promised an answer ‘in the next few days’ to the question of whether health passes would be required for winter holidaymakers to use ski lifts. “Discussions are underway with the professionals,” he said.

The stakes are high: the closure of ski lifts last winter cost manufacturers and ski shops nearly a billion euros. 

This year ski lifts will remain open, but a health pass may be necessary to access them. The health pass is already compulsory for après ski activities such as visits to bars, cafés and restaurants.

COMPARE The Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe

Many town halls and communities which depend on winter sports have found it difficult or impossible to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the French mountains to revive,” Lemoyne said, pointing to the fact that the government has provided “more than €6 billion” in aid to the sector.

Winter tourism professionals, however, have said that they are struggling to recruit for the winter season.

“Restaurant and bars are very affected,” by the recruitment crisis, one expert told Franceinfo, blaming a lack of urgency from authorities towards the winter holiday industry.

“We are all asking ourselves what we should do tomorrow to find full employment in the resort,” the expert added.

Post-Brexit visa and work permit rules mean that ski businesses have found it difficult to recruit Brits for short-term, seasonal positions.