Holiday Quiz

Our summer quiz offers a test of your knowledge of holiday-related trivia through an economics lens. The answers along with a brief explanation are at the end of this note.

1. Which one of the following cities is the most popular destination for international travellers?

A: Paris
B: Bangkok
C: London
D: New York

2. Where is the cheapest place to buy a Big Mac for a traveller carrying dollars?

A: Russia
B: Romania
C: Argentina
D: Vietnam

3. The Romans were early pioneers of tourism. If an occupant of Londinium (now called London) in the Roman period wished to escape the stresses and strains of city life and travel to Malaca (now called Malaga) in the south of Spain for a summer break, how long would the journey take?

A: 9 days
B: 17 days
C: 24 days
D: 62 days

4. In which one of the following European beach resorts is a basket of nine typical tourist items, including sun cream, an evening meal and a bottle of lager, cheapest?

A: The Algarve, Portugal
B: Marmaris, Turkey
C: Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
D: Benidorm, Spain

5. A number of companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are developing a space tourism offering. How much did the first self-funded space tourist, Dennis Tito, pay for his eight days on the International Space Station in 2001?

A: $20 million
B: $51 million
C: $134 million
D: $941 million

6. In 2017, $68.5 billion of duty free goods were sold around the world, data compiled by the Duty Free World Council indicates.. According to price comparison website PriceSpy, what percentage of products sold by duty free shops could be purchased more cheaply online?

A: 15%
B: 30%
C: 60%
D: 90%

7. With recent sterling weakness, taking a staycation has never been a more attractive option. Which one of the following is the sunniest holiday destination in the UK?

A: Isle of Wight
B: Penzance
C: Bognor Regis
D: Poole

8. Which is the busiest airport in the world?

A: Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson, US
B: London Heathrow, UK
C: Paris-Charles de Gaulle, France
D: Beijing Capital International, China

9. Which one of the following countries’ passports allows visa-free access to the most countries?

A: Japan
B: South Korea
C: Switzerland
D: Finland

10. In which one of the following travel destinations do British visitors spend the most during a single visit?

A: Australia
B: New Zealand
C: Thailand
D: South Africa

Answers:

1. Which one of the following cities is the most popular destination for international travellers?

B: Bangkok – According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, the Thai city is the most visited city in the world with 20.1 million international visitors in 2017. London, Paris and Dubai followed with 19.8 million, 17.4 million and 15.8 million visitors respectively. The popularity of Bangkok has risen over the last two decades partly due to its close proximity to India and China where an emerging middle class has driven a boom in international travel. When Bangkok became the most popular destination in 2012, its Suvarnabhumi airport and Siam Paragon shopping centre were the top two most photographed locations on Instagram. The rise in popularity of tourism among the residents of China has contributed to a dramatic fall in its trade surplus with the rest of the world. (Overseas spending on tourism is considered an import of services for a country’s domestic accounts.)

2. Where is the cheapest place to buy a Big Mac for a traveller carrying dollars?

A: Russia – According to the long-running Big Mac Index compiled by The Economist magazine , a Big Mac can be bought for the modest sum of 120 roubles in Russia, equivalent to $2.03. By contrast, the same burger in Britain is $4.10 (£3.29) and $5.74 in the US. The index aims to capture succinctly the purchasing power of different currencies. Based on this calculation, the rouble – despite rising 6.3% against the dollar so far this year – remains 65% undervalued.

3. The Romans were early pioneers of tourism. If an occupant of Londinium (now called London) in the Roman period wished to escape the stresses and strains of city life and travel to Malaca (now called Malaga) in the south of Spain for a summer break, how long would the journey take?

C: 24 days – According to Stanford University researchers, the journey, mostly by sea, would take 24 days and cost approximately 606 denarii, roughly equal to a year’s salary for a foot soldier at the time. Today the three-hour one-way flight can be purchased for as little as £18 or 0.09% of the salary of a British Army private. Spain is the most popular destination for British holidaymakers.

4. In which one of the following European beach resorts is a basket of nine typical tourist items, including sun cream, an evening meal and a bottle of lager, cheapest?

C: Sunny Beach, Bulgaria – According to the most recent annual Post Office survey, prices are over a third lower in the Black Sea resort than in any of the resorts surveyed in the eurozone. The Algarve in Portugal and Marmaris in Turkey were runners up.

5. A number of companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are developing a space tourism offering. How much did the first self-funded space tourist, Dennis Tito, pay for his eight days on the International Space Station in 2001?

A: $20 million – Mr Tito, a wealthy financier, rode a Russian supply ship to the ISS – which orbits approximately 400km above the earth – becoming the 415th person to travel to space. For comparison, an off-peak return train ticket from London to Newcastle, a similar distance, costs £141. Travelling to Newcastle does not require attaining a velocity of 17,100 mph, however, a speed at which you would travel from London to Newcastle in 52 seconds. According to UBS, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin will likely launch commercial space tourism flights in the next two years, with tickets predicted to cost six figures.

6. In 2017, $68.5 billion of duty free goods were sold around the world, as per figures compiled by the Duty Free World Council. According to price comparison website PriceSpy, what percentage of products sold by duty free shops could be purchased more cheaply online?

D: 90% – Fragrances and cosmetics are the highest grossing items sold by duty free stores, comprising 35.8% of sales, followed by wines and spirits and then fashion and accessories.

7. With recent sterling weakness, taking a staycation has never been a more attractive option. Which one of the following is the sunniest holiday destination in the UK?

C: Bognor Regis – Bognor Regis is the sunniest place in the UK with an average of 1,920 hours of sunshine between 1981 and 2010, according to Met Office data.

8. Which is the busiest airport in the world?

A: Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, US – With many long-haul routes offered by major airlines involving a stop at the airlines’ hubs, airports serving as primary bases tend to be the busiest. Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson, the primary hub for Delta, handled over 107 million passengers in 2018. Beijing, Dubai, Los Angeles and Tokyo are home to the remainder of the world’s top five busiest airports.

9. Which one of the following countries’ passports allows visa-free access to the most countries?

A: Japan – Holders of Japanese passports have access to 189 countries without having to obtain a visa in advance, the joint highest along with Singaporean passports, according to the Henley Passport Index.

10. In which of the following travel destinations do British visitors spend the most during a single visit?

D: South Africa – According to the ONS, visitors to South Africa spent an average of £1,911 during a single trip in 2018. Visitors to New Zealand, Australia and Thailand spent an average of £1,815, £1,616 and £1,544 respectively. The high spend per trip reflects that people are likely to stay longer in faraway destinations. The country identified as where UK residents spend the most per day is Luxembourg, not a common destination for your average holidaymaker.