Expedia Releases Flip Flop Report 2012 on Beach Holidays

Expedia, a US-based online travel company, has announced its 2012 Flip Flop Report, which provides results of a survey of beach vacations that was conducted with more than 8,000 participants across the globe.

The survey indicated that beach vacations continue to remain popular with holiday enthusiasts, with around 52 percent of the respondents planning on taking a beach holiday in the next 12 months. The respondents, from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, answered that on average they take about 7.7 days of beach holiday in a single trip.

However, Koreans, Japanese and Singaporeans seem to prefer a beach weekend rather than extended stays, and Argentineans spend an average of 11 days at a time at beach destinations. Also, while beach lovers in the US tend to revisit old haunts, new locations find favour with Indians.

The report also says relaxing and sunbathing are the top two favourite activities for beachgoers of five continents. 75 percent of Irish travellers that voted had opted for relaxing on the beach, while 79 percent of Mexicans prefer sunbathing. Brazilians, with 40 percent of total votes, were the most likely to engage in some kind of exercise on the beach.

Joe Megibow, the vice president and general manager of Expedia, said, ‘We’ve just completed our first annual Flip Flop Report which digs deep into what people like about beach travel. Not surprisingly, what they like when they’re planning a trip is saving money, so we’re launching the biggest Summer Sale in Expedia’s history. The report also shows that, once people are actually on vacation, they find a wide variety of ways to have their own kind of fun, whether that’s sports in the sand, surfing in the waves or whatever kind of sunbathing they prefer.’


Majority of British Beaches Are Clean, Says Study

British beaches generally offer safe bathing, says a research study done by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), a UK-based non-profit society for the protection of the seaside environment.

In its newest Good Beach Guide, the organisation has rated the water at most beaches in the UK as ‘excellent’, although a number of other beaches have specifically failed to attain the mandatory levels of cleanliness for their waters.

Around 516 out of 754 UK beaches were rated ‘excellent’ for water quality, based on tests done last summer, representing more than half of the popular bathing places for British vacationers.

The current results represent an 8 percent rise in beaches with clean water, and further represent one of best results in the last 25 years. The results, based on tests carried out in the summer of 2011, show that around two-thirds of the total number of beaches in the UK are safe for swimmers.

The Good Beach Guide has highlighted four beaches in the Blackpool and St Anne’s area among those that have failed the water quality tests.

While around 41 percent of Scotland’s beaches make the grade, this represents a decrease of around 5 percent from last years’ figures, following heavy summer rains and rainfall that was generally above average in 2011.

However, the MCS has warned that recent heavy rainfall is washing sewage and pollution from overflowing pipes in areas close to UK beaches, so holidaymakers taking a seaside vacation must still exercise caution.

Coastal pollution officer, Rachel Wyatt, said in an interview, ‘It’s really important that local authorities, water companies and environmental regulators don’t become complacent and take their collective feet off the pedal of continued environmental improvements. If that happens we could see a drop in the number of beaches recommended by us in the future, which could pose a risk to the great reputation British beaches have.’

Beyond the Skyscrapers: We Check Out Hong Kong’s Best Beaches

Think Hong Kong and you’ll probably think of skyscrapers, luxury shopping, and some of the best restaurants in the world. And you’d be right. The city is known for its skyline and shopping chops, bringing in millions of tourists annually with no plans beyond moving from boutique to boutique, filling their suitcases and emptying their wallets in the process.

But there’s more to Hong Kong than the tech-heavy city. Dotted along the peninsula are some of the world’s most impressive beaches, each benefiting from Hong Kong’s unique atmosphere and heavy dose of tropical heat. Better yet, due to the limited amount of knowledge amongst tourists, the city’s beaches are all but completely unvisited, offering exclusivity and comfortable swimming spots.

As tempting as it may be to start on the Kowloon Peninsula, the territory’s best beaches are tucked away on the far side of Hong Kong Island. Take the MRT from Tsim Tsha Tsui over to Central and hire a cab, asking for ‘Tsung Wan’ – one of the island’s more popular beaches. In summer, the beach is one of the clearest and most comfortable in Hong Kong, offering a pretty view of the city.

For something a little more exotic, visit Lantau Island and Cheung Sha – the city’s windsurfing and recreational centre. Unlike the beaches that dot Hong Kong island, Cheung Sha receives more wind than many expect, making it an ideal location for surfing and on-water sports. Lifeguards and safety services are present, making this beach an ideal location for improving your swimming skills.

Other convenient locations include Repulse Bay – another small beach on the city’s island. While all beaches offer a reasonable escape from Hong Kong’s immense heat and amazing population density, we’re fans of the more remote offerings. For an alternative to shopping and photo-shooting, there’s nothing better than a day of rest, relaxation, and swimming at Tsung Wan.