Why do many of us holiday in the same place each year?

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A survey from Hotels.com says that half of sun seekers go back to the same resort year after year.

llansteffan beach
Do sun-seekers like to return to the same place year after year?

I can’t make my mind up whether this is disappointing in that some people are not so willing to see more of the world or comforting in that they have found somewhere that fulfils all they want from a holiday.

According to the company, the reason they return to the same place is because they don’t want to spend ages going through online sites to find somewhere new. That suggests to me that the suggestion I made that responders are settling for something they know rather than seeking out the new is probably correct.

The survey was of 7,800 holidaymakers across 26 countries, including the UK, the USA and Australia. It also revealed more than 10 hours, on average, are spent planning getaways but that people start to lose interest when researching a holiday just 42 minutes into the process. It found that about 25% find all the organising so tiresome they have decided against going away altogether. A further 37% said arranging a holiday has been so gruelling they’ve made a mistake when finalising it.

My conclusion is that the responders seem a bit jaded, a bit unadventurous and rather negative. You could turn the information on its head though and say that 75% didn’t find the art of holiday hunting to be tiresome and that 63% didn’t find it gruelling (perhaps even appealing and interesting?) and they didn’t make any mistakes.

carnival in venice
Carnival time in Venice. Some return year after year for events like this © Italian National Tourist Board

But it still doesn’t answer the question about why people return to the same place time and time again. And does this result apply only to sun-seekers or all holidaymakers?

Releasing the totally unscientific summary of a survey of one non sun-seeker – me – Just about Travel says that 100% of responders to their survey said that returning to the same place meant that they could truly relax. They didn’t need to go visiting because they were so familiar with it. They didn’t feel they had to go on tours because they had done them. They could simply sit, read or have a drink and watch the world go by. Familiarity meant they could do nothing and not feel tourist guilt about not dashing around and seeing as much as they could before the holiday ended.

A similar 100% of responders also said that they were greedy and wanted two holidays a year, one that was relaxing and one that allowed them to see and do something different so, ideally they went somewhere different each year. Or at least each time they took a second holiday.

New Castle
Some return to the same hotel many times. If the hotel is in a castle maybe the pull to visit is stronger. This is Ruthin Castle Hotel in North Wales

But the same 100% also said that because they lived in a beautiful part of the world with a famous sandy beach nearby, a wildlife centre close by, walks in the hills, magnificent scenery, two rivers for kayaking as well as bird and otter watching in addition to a castle at the bottom of the garden there was no real need to holiday anywhere because what were the chances of holidaying somewhere better?

The Just about Travel survey then answers questions no more convincingly than the Hotels.com one does.

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