Culture(s) / Holiday calendar and destinations

A1 Breakthrough
Holiday calendar and destination

In your country, in your culture, do you go on holiday? Is it common or quite rare? Are you able to go once a year? Several times a year? Inside your country or in another country? To an exotic destination? Do you have to pay for housing or not? How long is the holiday? In your culture, what is associated with holidays? Sunny weather, heat, the sea, the mountain, the countryside? Resting, family, walking, adventure, luxury, comfort, culture, festivals, or entertainment?

The French and holidays
How many? 65% of French people go on holiday each year.
Which destinations? Above all, the French like to travel... in France. 81% of holidays are spent within metropolitan France, and the French account for 60% of tourism revenue in their country. For good reason: 56.9% stay with family or go to their holiday home. Free accommodation is certainly the first motivation when choosing your holiday destination, even among the wealthiest categories. Hotels make up 11.6% of bookings; camping and rentals each make up 8.8%. French people's favourite holidays always take place at sea (45% of stays), then in the countryside (30%), even if the mountain is the most popular for winter stays (17%).
Who? Retired people are the ones who most often go on holiday (37 days on average in 2004 against 26 days for the rest of the population). People under 20, who have many holiday opportunities, go alone or with their parents, or with one of them in the case of divorced parents.
How often? Those lucky enough to go on holiday make an average of 2.2 trips a year.
For how long? Unlike the increasing average number of stays, the average length of these stays has steadily declined for forty years. Since 1999, the average length of stays has stabilised at a dozen days, regardless of age and generation.
When? The majority of holidays are traditionally taken in July and August, but the share of summer trips has been decreasing in favour of winter trips since 1979. In 1979, 69% of holiday days were in July or August, compared to 57% in 2004. Outside the summer period, the most popular months are February, April, and December, when schools close for "short holiday" periods.

Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (2008)

Practical exercises

Culture: Calendar and holiday destinations

4 exercises
Read • Intercultural (travel)