Malaysians love cuddling at the beach

MALAYSIA - Who says we are not world-beaters? Malaysians are No.1 in the world when it comes to being romantic ... at the beach!

There is something about the sun, sea and sand that evokes romance in Malaysians. According to Expedia's 2013 Flip Flop Report, Malaysian beachgoers are the most affectionate in the world with close to 70 per cent citing intimacy as the ultimate seaside vacation indulgence.

Commissioned by Expedia, the world's largest online travel company, Flip Flop Report is an annual study of the behaviours and preferences of beachgoers around the world. This is the first time that Malaysia has been included in the global annual survey.

Results of the study disclosed some interesting insights into the psyche of Malaysian beachgoers. While they are the most romantic at the beach, they are also the most modest.

Although almost half of respondents are comfortable or remain neutral with the concept of a topless beach, 71 per cent maintain they would never step foot on one. A total of 68 per cent - the world's highest - proclaim to actively share pictures of their beach holiday on social media sites. However, 61 per cent of them say they would never post photos of themselves dressed in any form of swimwear.

"Living in a country that boasts some of Asia's best beaches, it is heartening to see so many Malaysians favouring their holidays by the sea. It's no wonder that they choose to spend their most private moments at the beach with its idyllic setting and serene beauty. There are many ways to enjoy the seaside and Malaysians certainly know how to make the most of their beach holidays," said Kathleen Tan, Expedia Asia CEO.

Looking good is everything to Malaysian beachgoers - not surprising considering 76 per cent of them confess to people-watching while on vacation. At 40 per cent, Malaysians top the global rankings of beachgoers who go on a diet before their vacation, with a further 28 per cent adopting a workout routine to drop the pounds and get in shape. Some 43 per cent of Malaysians update their wardrobe and buy new outfits especially for their trip.

On the whole, beach vacationers across the world love to eat, explore and shop. Not much of a surprise there but Malaysian holidaymakers are the world's biggest foodies with 91 per cent saying they enjoy indulging in local cuisines.

German vacationers spend most of their beach holidays visiting nearby historical towns and cities while their Singaporean counterparts rank shopping as their top activity.

Across the globe, three or four, or five or six nights are the most popular length for a beach holiday. Europeans take "fun in the sun" more seriously than Asians, spending a minimum of seven or eight nights or up to two weeks with their feet in the sand. Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, India, South Korea and Mexico are the only countries where over 40 per cent are likely to spend three or four nights at the beach.