Global: Is learning the language a barrier to tourist travel?
July 26th, 2022, Janice Fernandes

Global: Is learning the language a barrier to tourist travel?

Knowing the basics of a local language before visiting a country or region often enhances the whole travel experience. But are global consumers willing to add this exercise to their to-do list? Latest data from Global Profiles reveals whether consumers take the effort of learning the basics of a language before visiting a place. Global Profiles tracks consumer thoughts, feelings, behaviors and habits, and monitors global trends and media consumption across 43 markets.

Data indicates that consumers in UAE are most likely among individual markets to agree with the statement, putting them at par with global respondents. They are followed by slightly fewer but still around two in five urban Mexicans (41%). Urban Mexicans are however as likely as global respondents to disagree with the statement (24%)

While over a third of Australians (34%) say they learn the basics of a language spoken in the place they’re visiting, the figure drops to 29% in Singapore, the least of all markets. Two in five (40%) French consumers also say they would not learn the basics of a language.

Consumers in Great Britain are most likely of all markets to disagree with the statement, registering 48%. Across the pond, US registers 38% of consumers who do not learn the rudiments of a local language before traveling.

Breaking down the data by age reveals that Gen Z is more inclined towards learning the basics of a language. Over half of Gen Z consumers in the US (51%) say they learn the fundamentals before traveling.

American Millennials are most likely of all generations to say they would learn enough of a new language to fit in at the place they are visiting (53%). There is a significant drop in agreement levels among the other generations in the US. Gen X registers 36% of consumers who would take the effort of learning the basics of a language, 17 points lower than among Millennials.

The same trend is seen in Great Britain. Millennials register less than two in five consumers (39%) who agree with the statement, with the figure dropping further among Gen X (32%). Among Britons, Gen Z (46%) is more likely of all generations to learn the local language.

For more travel data into the most fluid and digitally engaged generation to date, get YouGov’s full Gen Z report.

Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ in China and 18+ in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.

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