Irish, Cypriot and Maltese people take the most trips by air
Greeks enjoy the longest holidays of any European Union citizens, according to an analysis by The Independent.
Eurostat’s survey of 1.3 billion leisure and business trips shows wide disparities in the travel habits of EU nations.
Citizens of Greece spend an average of 9.9 days on a trip – almost double the EU-wide mean of 5.1 days.
The only other nation staying away for over a week was Luxembourg, at 7.1 days.
Estonians and Latvians have the shortest trips, averaging just 3.3 days – exactly one-third of the typical Greek holiday. Next briefest is Finland, across the Baltic, at 3.4 days.
British travellers are away for an above-average 5.5 days, but the Irish are lower at 4.6.
The statistical office of the European Union found half of all trips involving at least one overnight stay were for holidays and leisure, one-third for visits to relatives and friends and one in eight for business.
Eurostat’s figures also reveal the proportion of trips that were taken outside the home country.
Romanians are the most loyal, with all but 6 per cent holidaying at home. The only other country with overseas trips in single figures was Spain, at 9.4 per cent.
While the Europe-wide average was 26.7 per cent of trips taken abroad, the UK was well above at almost one in three: 32.8 per cent.
Citizens of smaller countries with a land border have a far higher propensity for foreign holidays. Four out of five trips by Belgians are outside the country. For Slovenia the figure is almost two out of three, and for Austria a half.
But Luxembourg is far more extreme, and appears to have almost no domestic travel industry to speak of. Only 1.7 per cent of citizens take a trip involving an overnight stay in the Grand Duchy.
The people of Luxembourg also take the highest proportion of trips by air of any nation in Continental Europe, at 42 per cent. They are beaten only by the islanders of Ireland (43 per cent), Cyprus (49 per cent) and Malta (63 per cent).
Three out of 10 trips made by UK citizens involve flying.
By far the biggest proportion of journeys are made by car, with an average of 64 per cent. Slovenians are most in love with their cars, used for 85 per cent of trips.
More than three-quarters of trips that begin in Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic involve a car.
Among the British, exactly half of trips are taken by car. The only countries to score lower were Luxembourg, Cyprus and Ireland – all on 48 per cent, reflecting the high proportion travelling by air.
The most enthusiastic rail users are the French and the Germans, but even then only one in seven trips is made by train.
The EU-wide average for rail journeys is one in nine, but the UK scores one in eight. Only one Greek in 90 uses a train for a holiday or business trip involving an overnight stay.
While long-distance coach travel is a minority activity across the European Union, with only 5.5 per cent, the figure is much higher in the Balkans.
Bulgaria (16.2), Croatia (18.7) and Romania (19.2) top the list.
For the UK, the figure is 3.8 per cent. Of the Continental nations, France (2.4) and Netherlands (2.2) are least likely to travel by bus.
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