Where’s Cyprus? Study reveals travelers’ geographic confusion
Perhaps it’s the rise of smart phones.
People think, heck, I’ll check when I get there.
But a study has emerged suggesting millions of European vacationers -- and probably not they alone -- can’t locate their destination on a map.
Cyprus? Hmm ... sunny, coastal, probably to the south.
That presumably was close to the thought process of the 53% of respondents in a study of 2,000 people who, when asked to point on a map to the Mediterranean island they’d traveled to in the past year, gestured instead at mainland Greece.
Given the simmering, 40-year tension between the Turkish and Greek-speaking parts of Cyprus, we’re glad these travelers aren’t applying for the diplomatic corps -- at least, we hope they’re not.
Perhaps more worrying, given its size -- 1,600 kilometers wide and straddling two continents -- were the slightly fewer than half of people responding to the British Airways study who thought their Turkish holiday was in the Ukraine, almost 2,000 kilometers away.
Then there were the 14% of French travelers who couldn’t locate ... France!
Instead, they gave often belittled Belgium some sorely needed attention.
Balancing the scales a little were the roughly one-fifth and one-third of vacationers who mistook Germany and Greece, respectively, for France.
France was popular, too, with the one-quarter of travelers to Spain who didn’t know where it was.
Not that Spain was neglected. Astoundingly, one-quarter of people thought that’s where Ireland was.
It might sound counterintuitive, but perhaps it’s simply mistaken to believe geographic accuracy is imperative when planning a vacation.
While the value of their currency was important for 47% of participants in the study, and the location of swimming pools and the beach pressing for around one-third, four in 10 people admitted they went on vacation without looking up where they were going on a map.
And perhaps if you’re on an all-inclusive package to somewhere sunny with airport transfers included, does it really matter if you only know -- very -- hazily where it is.
After all, you’re on holiday.
Does such geographical ignorance point to the decline of civilization as we know it, or have these travelers got their priorities about right? Let us know in the comments section below.