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Israelis in Goa, Vikings in Thailand

Friday 7 January 2005, by MAJU*V.

MUMBAI: When the tsunami hit Phuket, Sweden was hardest hit with more than 2,500 of its nationals missing and 52 dead. In October 2002, when bombs ripped into two popular nightclubs in Bali, it was called ’Australia’s September 11’. The number of Australians killed was double the Indonesian death toll.

Is there a link between nationality and holiday destinations? There appears to be one going by the travel patterns of tourists from different countries. US surfers lolling on Sri Lanka’s Hikkaduwa beach, Scandinavians in Thailand, Japanese tourists teeing off at Delhi’s golf clubs and Arabs tucking into yellow-fin tuna in Mauritius indicate that birds of a nation holiday together.

Right from the early 19th century when the concept of travelling for pleasure was just taking off, nationality has influenced the choice of destination. "The US was a favourite destination with the Arabs but post-9/11, with a change in the American outlook towards the Muslim world, the Arabs have shifted loyalties to Mauritius and the Seychelles," says an official from the World Travel And Tourism Council. The beaches of these islands now have seafood patrons and water sports patrons from West Asia pumping up tourist figures.

Apart from economic considerations, political compulsions, geographic constraints and cultural conditioning are often the deciding factors.

See online : Times of India

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