Italians are the best-dressed holidaymakers and have the most sex with strangers, according to a report by Kuoni that claims to identify national traits among tourists.

The French dress down on holiday except when they go out at night, while the Brits wear less on holiday yet half of them buy new clothes for a trip, says the Kuoni Global Holiday Report released at German trade show ITB in Berlin yesterday.

The report is based on a survey of 12,000 people drawn from Kuoni’s 12 source markets, including the UK.

It suggests women are better prepared for holidays than men, although the preparations seem to consist of buying new clothes and slimming. One in ten people like to become someone different when on holiday – a potential problem at passport control – and 8% “change their style” once they return home.

Holidaymakers across the 12 markets seem to agree on what they don’t like on holiday – 74% hate litter and 61% hate poor body hygiene in others. Almost half object to people talking loudly.

Women are twice as likely as men to object to topless sunbathing – so get your T-shirts on guys. A minority of men seemingly object to attempts to speak the language in a destination.

The report notes holidays give us ample opportunities be less inhibited and, good news for retailers, 43% of holidaymakers do so by spending more, 30% “try new things”, 28% “talk to strangers”, and 22% drink more.

Almost one in 10 men and 6% of women admit to flirting with strangers on holiday. Britons come fourth in the flirting stakes behind the Italians, Spanish and French.

If you come across a couple having sex on the beach, they are most likely to be French, says the report. If they are in the sea, they are probably Italian, on the plane they are most likely to be Indian. Presumably any couple having sex in the bar will be British, but this is not one of the categories.

Perhaps surprisingly, more men than women seek romance when they are away.

Indians and Italians are rated the most sociable holidaymakers, but the British are most likely to become acquainted with other nationalities.

When it comes to food, 73% of holidaymakers eat a mix of local food and what they already know, with 22% insisting on just local dishes. However, 54% say local food is what they most enjoy spending on while on holiday – the most-popular category for expenditure, ahead of 45% who identify day trips and 39% handicrafts.

The survey of holidaymakers aged 25-65 was carried out in November-December last year in Belgium, and the report is available at