With the 2018 summer season drawing to an end, many of us are already thinking about booking our 2019 holiday, but when it comes to travelling to new destinations, do you really know where you are going? Well, according to a new travel study released by British Airways, it seems that more than 50 percent of us struggle with basic geography knowledge, with one-in-five Britons completely unaware that Europe is a continent!
For years, our long suffering American neighbours have been ridiculed for their poor grasp of geography, but if this new report is anything to go by, we Brits are not far behind them! Three percent of us seem to believe that Great Britain is a continent, while more than half us don’t know that the world is made up of 7 land masses, and so it looks like we’ve got some serious studying to do!
Despite 63% of those surveyed describing themselves as well-travelled, two-thirds admitted that they probably wouldn’t pass GCSE geography if they were to sit the exam today, and after reading some of their answers in the BA questionnaire, I think they could be right!
In the survey, 25 percent admitted that they did not know that the South Pole is in Antarctica. The same number confessed to thinking that Spanish was the most commonly spoken language in Brazil (rather than Portuguese), and one in four were unable to name the Sahara as the largest hot desert in the world.
When questioned about the US flag, sixty-three percent said that they had no idea that there were 50 stars representing the 50 states, and perhaps most shocking of all, one in ten admitted that they didn’t know that the Taj Mahal was in India. But it’s not all bad news…
Britons did well when came to naming capital cities, with 78% confirming that Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, and 85% correctly naming Washing DC as the capital of the United States. So perhaps we should just stick to city breaks?
9,000 adults from 13 countries took part in the BA research, and while us Brits failed on many topics, our European and International compatriots didn’t do much better. One in four Australians could not name Rome as the home of the Colosseum, while one in five French respondents were not aware that their country contained part of the Alps, and so I guess we could all do with an atlas or globe this Christmas!
The fun thing about travel is that you don’t need to know where you are going. As long as you know how to get there, how to get back, and how to enjoy every moment while you are there, the rest is just geography…. And who needs that?!