Barcelona emerges bucket-list soccer mecca destination among soccer fiends in new survey

AFP Relax News
Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has emerged the world's most popular bucket-list destination when it comes to watching live soccer, according to a worldwide survey of the sport's fans conducted by Expedia Group.

Released ahead of the UEFA Champions League finale set to take place in Madrid on June 1, the "Destination: Football-Expedia Group Football Travel Trends Study," found that 30 percent of the 16,500 soccer fans polled around the world cited Barcelona, home of soccer legend Messi, as their dream soccer destination.  

With 15 percent of the vote, FC Barcelona's home stadium Camp Nou also emerged the world's favorite soccer mecca. 

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After Barcelona, London and Manchester were the most popular bucket list soccer destinations. 

Results of the survey showed that 68 percent of travelers around the world have planned holidays around sporting events at least once. 

Of that figure, 70 percent of females and 67 percent of males said they've planned their holidays around their favorite team. 

Nearly half (47 percent) admitted to changing their holiday bookings to make sure they didn't miss a match. 

The survey revealed that two-thirds (67 percent) have been to an away game. 

Meanwhile, the findings also suggest that if your soccer fiend partner suddenly springs a romantic getaway on you, it could actually be a ruse: 32 percent of respondents admitted to using a romantic break as a pretext for watching a soccer game. 

According to Expedia Group data, fights and accommodation bookings for destinations hosting soccer matches can spike up to three times the usual average on the day of soccer fixture announcements (when matches are scheduled and announced). 

The UEFA Champions League will be held in Madrid on June 1.

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