It's not love, actually... Christmas is a time for partying, not romancing

• Brits prefer going out with family and friends to romantic meal for two
• One in seven women’s ideal festive day out is with their pet
• Men prepared to travel further and spend more on Christmas day out


With preparations for Christmas in full swing, a new nationwide survey has revealed Brits would rather spend their festive break partying with family and friends than on a romantic date with their partner.


New research from Visit Birmingham, the city’s leisure tourism programme, in association with London Midland and Retail Birmingham, found that just over a third (37%) of us would choose an intimate dinner for two, compared to three quarters (75%) who would prefer to spend time with family members, and half (49%) opting to devote the day to friends.

An incredible one in seven women (14%) would rather spend a festive day out with their pet – making them more popular than grandparents (5%).

In the battle of the sexes, women were more interested in partying and eating out (57%) or going to a Christmas market (43%) than a romantic meal for two (22%).

Men, however, were much more romantic – 1 in 3 (30%) would choose to go for dinner with their other half.

Whilst seasonal favourites such as shopping, a visit to the theatre/pantomime and seeing the Christmas lights were rated highly (each polling 24%), the survey revealed our favourite way of spending time at Christmas is partying, eating and drinking out (51%).

Birmingham’s rich festive offering of food and drink, shopping, Christmas markets and culture was recently put in the international spotlight, when the city was named by global travel experts Expedia as the world’s fastest growing Christmas destination, with year-on-year bookings for the period between 21st December and 5th January increasing by 118%.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham said:

“More groups than ever are coming to the city from other parts of the UK to enjoy all we have to offer at Christmas – food and drink, shopping, Christmas markets and culture.
“Right in the centre of the country, Birmingham is also ideally placed to visit, wherever you live in the UK. We know, through our ‘Meet and Greet’ service, that Christmas visitors to Birmingham are coming from Devon, Yorkshire, Lancashire and the south coast.”

Latest weekly footfall figures from Retail Birmingham (week commencing December 2nd) show over 2.2 million visitors came to Birmingham city centre, an 11% increase year-on-year – bucking the national average of 3.4%.

Jonathan Cheetham, Chair of Retail Birmingham, said:

“Birmingham remains a world-class shopping destination, with over 1,000 stores, 100 independents, four major centres and four department stores. The Christmas season is undoubtedly an extremely important time for retailers and the positive visitor figures clearly demonstrate the strength of offer available here in the city centre.”


When British men decide to enjoy themselves, they really go to town; the Visit Birmingham survey found men are prepared to travel an average of over 45 miles and spend more than £88 on their ideal festive day out – compared to stingier women (39 miles and £83 respectively).



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