Hotels.com makes Dublin unrecognisable to a third of Irish people
New research from Hotels.com has shown that one in three Irish people fail to recognise their own capital city landscape without its iconic Ha’penny Bridge. An incredible 32% of Irish people were stumped by an image of their capital city when the memorable bridge was airbrushed out of the picture. While 68% weren’t fooled, 28% confused the image of Dublin with Amsterdam.
UK neighbours also struggled to recognise Dublin city’s landscape when asked to identify it without the Ha’penny Bridge. 75% of those surveyed in the UK thought Dublin was Amsterdam in the photo, with only 22% recognising the city without the landmark.
The landmark quiz also revealed that the Irish were quicker to recognise other cities, including London (88%), Paris (87%) and Sydney (76%) before their own home town, even when the key landmarks (Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Opera House) in these cities were omitted from the view.
Hotels.com polled more than 10,000 travellers across the globe, to see just how many cities they recognised after a key landmark had been removed.
Nearly two thirds (63%) of Irish people have travelled to a city just to see an iconic landmark, according to the findings. Of the world’s most famous landmarks, the overall favourites were the Eiffel Tower in Paris (15%), while one in ten chose New York’s Empire State Building (10%) and San Francisco’s Golden Bridge (10%). These landmarks were followed in popularity by the Taj Mahal in India and The Vatican in Rome.
Despite the rise in the UK of the mini break, the research showed that it’s our neighbouring European cities that we know the least. Less than half (48%) of Irish travellers recognised Barcelona without Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia; 38% spotted Pisa without its Leaning Tower, and just 36% recognised Berlin without the Berlin TV Tower.
Ireland fared better when looking across the water to the UK however, with a greater number of Irish people recognising the London skyline (89%) without Big Ben than the Brits themselves. Only 83% of British people surveyed recognised their own capital without the iconic clock.
When it comes to long haul destinations, iconic landmarks seem to resonate well in the visual memory. The Hotels.com research showed that over three quarters of all Irish (76%) recognised Sydney without the Opera House and similarly Rio was identified correctly by 81% of travellers even after the Christ the Redeemer statue had been removed.
Alison Couper, Communications Director for Hotels.com, said: “It’s interesting to see just how important a city’s iconic landmark is when it comes to recognising the destination. This quirky survey shows that it is the cities which have a famous and world renowned landmark, such as the Sydney Opera House or the Eiffel Tower that tend to resonate more in our minds.”
As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets, Hotels.com offers more than 100,000 quality hotels, B&Bs and serviced apartments worldwide including cheap New York hotels, hotels in London, hotels in Edinburgh and hotels in Dublin. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its customers, plus there are 1.3m reviews from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers make an informed choice when booking. Hotels.com won the Gold Award for best hotel booking site in Webuser magazine in February 2009.
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