Does sunshine equal happiness? Many tour operators would have us believe so, and who hasn’t experienced the post-holiday blues on heading back to the office after a sun-kissed fortnight away?
One travel firm has gone a stage further, however, and drawn up a chart said to reveal the happiest holiday destinations on the planet.
The chart dreamed up by Fly Thomas Cook combines information from the World Happiness Database with sunshine hours.
Egypt, Cyprus and Australia all appear to be countries bursting with warmth and feel good factor. Is this just a marketing gimmick or does it have some basis in commonsense?
Maybe a few research trips abroad are the only way to find out – make sure you have adequate travel insurance coverage before you go!
The World Happiness Database takes life expectancy figures in different countries and combines them with how happy local people claim to be, to measure what it calls ‘happy life years.’
On this basis, Sweden, Iceland and Canada are among the top five happy destinations in the world, but aren’t much use for a beach holiday.
Top sunshine hotspots include South Africa, India and the Dominican Republic, but they have rather low ratings for ‘happy life years.’
Turkey scores highly for sunshine and well for life expectancy but levels of ‘popular happiness’ look low. It is highlighted by Fly Thomas Cook, however, as its headline happy destination (perhaps for marketing reasons indeed.)
On the sunshine + ‘happy life years’ scale Egypt, Cyprus and Australia all rate more highly. Sunniest country in the world is Egypt, according to the chart, while Australia combines high life expectancy with buoyant national contentment. Cyprus appears to have it all.
A place to avoid would be Russia, where there isn’t much sunshine (though more than in the UK), life expectancy is below average and happiness apparently in short supply.