US fans head to South Africa whilst Italians stay home
With the South Africa World Cup 2010 only two weeks away, football fever is building and fans all over the globe are willing their teams to World Cup glory. But which nations have the most supportive fans?
Skyscanner has examined its flight search data to reveal which countries are showing the most interest in travelling to the world’s biggest football competition.
Despite football being a secondary sport in terms of popularity in the US, it was the US football fans that appear to be most supportive of their team, with searches for flights to South Africa jumping a massive 440% compared to the same period last year, indicating that many Americans will be making the journey to Africa to rally the US squad in person.
Spain wasn’t far behind with a year on year rise of 409%, followed by Brazil with a 399% jump. 2006 runners up – France – certainly seem to be making the effort to get to the competition with a 331% rise in searches, followed closely by the Australians – who saw a 308% increase.
Portugal, who were defeated by France in the 2006 semi-finals, are showing a 272% rise, whilst the Germany were close on their heels with a 250% jump.
The Dutch were displaying less support with only a 226% increase in searches, while searches from England only rose by 206%, a small increase given the nation’s obsession with all things football.
But by far the biggest surprise revealed by Skyscanner’s data was that current World Cup champions – Italy – were showing the least support for their team with a pitiful rise in searches of just over 134%, one of the lowest increases of any World Cup nation.
Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder commented:
“It’s great to see the Americans taking such an interest in the World Cup, especially as football is not one of America’s favourite sports. But we were surprised to see that the Italians appear to be showing less support for their team than most of the other nations in the competition.”
World Most Supportive World Cup Fans
Country % Rise in travel to South Africa for World Cup 2010 period
Data based on percentage increase in flight searches from respective countries to South Africa for World Cup 2010 period, compared same period in 2009.