While 62% of people have booked themselves on to walking, bus and boat city tours in the past, overindulging the night before often gets in the way of attending as 1.45 million Brits have missed a tour that they have paid for because they were too hungover to go.
The research, which was commissioned by mobile tour guide app Cities Talking, reveals that a bad forecast can also get in the way as 2.16 million have not turned up for a tour because it was raining.
The Cities Talking study reveals that on average Brits spend £29.79 per year on tours, books and magazines, hoping to educate themselves on the places that they are going to visit. But this money can go to waste, as 10% of people claim to have left tours because either they or their families were not enjoying it, and only 4% of people read the travel books that they have bought cover to cover. This is perhaps not surprising given that almost 1 in 10 (9.8%) claim to buy travel books just to ‘show off’ to friends and family the places that they have been, and 9.1% buy them because ‘they look great on my bookshelf’.
What’s more, the poll also reveals that cost is a big factor preventing people from going on more tours, as 40% of Brits believe tours to be too expensive and 29% claim that travel books are also too pricey. A further 1 in 5 (20%) do not attend tours when in a new city because the timings are ‘inflexible’, and 26% don’t join tours because they don’t like being around ‘too many tourists’. 18% also find them ‘boring’ and 7% dislike it when the tour guide isn’t a local. Even those who go on tours can end up missing out, as 1.34 million admit to losing their tour guide and not re-joining the group.
This negative attitude towards traditional tours may have contributed to the fact that more people are turning to technology to explore new cities. Nearly three quarters (74%) state that prefer to use technology to learn about a new place, whether that is via the internet or a mobile app, compared to just 15% who look at travel books and 7% for travel brochures. Over 50% of people have now used mobile technology to explore a new city, with 22% saying they prefer this because it is cheaper, 17% say it helps them see more of what they want because they can tailor the experience, 16% say that it ensures the information is ‘up to date,’ and 15% say they find it ‘a lot more flexible’.