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Northern Lights outshines Europe’s tourism let-downs

May 3, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email


Iceland’s Northern Lights is the most desirable and satisfying tourist attraction in Europe, according to a surprising new airline-initiated survey which indicates tourists place natural attractions ahead of man-made ones and consider many European ‘must-see’ tourism icons to be disappointing.

The survey was conducted in Britain by airline easyJet, so perhaps the British are more jaded about Europe than Australian travellers would be.

easyJet asked 2000 respondents what they thought of various attractions.

Results showed that 86% of Britons regarded Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as “a let-down”. They also panned the Leaning Tower of Pisa near Florence.

Other let-downs, according to the British (arranged in ascending order of how let down people felt), were:

  1. Leaning Tower of Pisa
  2. The Louvre
  3. Trevi Fountain, Rome
  4. Spanish Steps, Rome
  5. Eiffel Tower
  6. Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen
  7. Moulin Rouge, Paris
  8. Mannekin Pis, Brussels
  9. Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin
  10. Mona Lisa

Tourists looking at the Mona Lisa. The spectator in the middle foreground wearing the jean jacket, Sydney art student Felix Needham, is one of the few who decided to leave his phone behind and just enjoy looking at the art

All of those 10 are man-made attractions. In contrast, the Brits seem attracted to nature. Their most desirable attraction was the Northern Lights, with 75% of respondents saying it is something they would like to see, the Independent reported.

This was followed by Lake Como in Italy (63%) and Santorini in Greece (60%).

Other top destinations included the Swiss Alps, the pink sand Elafonissi beach in Greece, the Cinque Terre in Italy and the tulip fields of the Netherlands.

Tourism Australia should take note, because Australia abounds in natural attractions.

The survey also revealed that more than half (55%) of those surveyed booked overseas trips after being inspired by photographs they had seen on Instagram or other social media.

Nearly one in three travellers (32%) admitted that their biggest priority when considering a foreign destination was how well their holiday photographs would look on Instagram.

The failure of reality to live up to the Instagram ideal may be why some modern travellers feel so disappointed.

Written by Peter Needham

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