Mercure Hotels highlights the power of local knowledge


A new survey has been released by Mercure Hotels highlighting how many millions of Brits are unaware of some of the incredible places available to them on their doorstep.

Mercure Hotels has worked with Blue Badge Tourist Guides to identify the Local Secrets across the UK highlighting some of the most interesting, historical and entertaining attractions that many of us may not know exist.

When shown pictures, many Brits confused places such as Brighton Pavilion with the Taj Mahal, Marble Arch with the Arc de Triomphe, St Pauls with the Vatican and thought the Lake District’s Derwent Water was in New Zealand.

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The survey also shows many Brits believe fictional places such as Corrie’s Weatherfield, Eastenders’ Albert Square, Downton Abbey, Bond’s Skyfall and Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾ Kings Cross are real places in the UK.

However, despite the knowledge gaps, 52% of Brits feel that of all the countries they have visited, the UK has the most places of interest to explore, the next most interesting country being the USA (10%). And the desire to explore the UK is there, 57% of Brits have holidayed most in the UK, compared to the top five other international holiday destinations Spain (14%), France (5%), USA (5%), Italy (3%) and Greece (2%).

Mercure’s Jonathan Sheard said: “Our study showed that 77% of Brits would explore the UK more if they knew more about what was there.”

The sentiment of ‘staying like a local, not like a tourist’ has taken hold in the UK, with 69% of Brits wanting the local insight and experience on their travels.

The survey of more than 2,000 Brits by Mercure hotels has revealed that:

• A third (35%) of Brits fail to identify iconic landmark, Marble Arch, wrongly identifying it as Paris’ Arc de Triomphe

• A quarter (23%) of Brits think the Lake District’s Derwent Water is in New Zealand

• More than a quarter (28%) of Brits have confused St Paul’s with The Vatican

• A third (30%) of Brits think the Brighton Pavilion is in fact the Taj Mahal
• Almost half (44%) of Brits think the Scottish Exhibition centre is the Sydney Opera House

• 93% of Brits fail to identify Bidean Nam Bian mountain range, one of the highest in the UK, as a real place

• 75% of Brits don’t think Durdle Door is a real place in the UK

• A third of Bits don’t think The Needles are a real UK place

• Only 57% of Brits think The Jurassic Coast is a real UK place of interest

• 13% of Brits think Mr Darcy’s Pemberley is a real stately home

• And the same number, 13%, think the famous Eastenders Albert Square is real

• Nearly 1 in 10 people in the UK believe that Downton Abby is real

• 77% of Brits would visit more places in the UK if they knew what else was there

• 69% of Brits want to stay like a local, not like a tourist when they go on holiday