Three fifths of holidaymakers bring back fake goods

17th Jun 2011
Three fifths of holidaymakers bring back fake goods

New research by the UK’s fastest growing online independent travel agent has revealed that three fifths of British holidaymakers have brought back fake merchandise from a previous holiday abroad, with the most common fake item purchased being imitation designer sunglasses.

According to the findings of a new poll by an independent online travel agency in the UK, the majority of British holidaymakers bring home fake merchandise of some description after a trip abroad. The most commonly purchased imitation items have also been revealed.

The poll was conducted by online travel agency, in a bid to discover what things Britons bring back in their suitcase after a holiday. 1,920 Britons were polled in the study, each of whom had been on holiday in the last year and respondents were asked questions surrounding their purchases abroad.

When initially asked, ‘Do you buy presents for family, friends or work colleagues when on holiday?’ 37% said ‘yes’. The people polled were then asked, ‘Do you buy items when on holiday for yourself?’ to which 74% answered ‘yes.’

The respondents were then asked by whether or not they had ever purchased fake or imitation items when on holiday and 61% claimed that they had. 11% were ‘unsure’ if they had brought back fake merchandise and, of those who had brought back fake goods, 44% claimed that they didn’t know the items were counterfeit when they purchased them.


The two fifths of respondents who had brought home fake items from holiday before were asked by to specify what these products were. According to the poll, the top five most common imitation items purchased on holiday by British tourists are:

·      Designer sunglasses – 36%
·      Designer handbags – 21%
·      Jewellery/Watches – 18%
·      Electrical goods – 13%
·      Branded clothing – 9%

Chris Brown, co-founder of, commented on the findings:

“Some imitation items abroad are so similar to the real thing that it can be hard to tell they are fake. However, people need to bear in mind that in some European countries you can face hefty fines for buying imitation designer items, so it really isn’t worth the risk.” 

“I’m not surprised that so many people who got imitation items on holiday didn’t realise that the products were counterfeit at the time of purchase, but it’s quite a revelation to see just how many bring home fake goods. The best thing do to is use your common sense; if a street trader is trying to flog you Gucci sunglasses for a few Euros, the chances are, it’s almost certainly too good to be true. Avoid fake items if you want to stay in the clear and not face fines.”


Recommended for you

Follow Breaking Travel News

Travel Events Calendar

Media Partnerships

Global Restaurant Investment ForumThe Hospitality & Tourism SummitCATHIC
ITB AsiaChina Outbound Travel & Tourism MarketThe Travel Marketing Store
Serviced Apartment SummitWorld Travel MarketIMEX
AHICWTTCRoutes Online
UBM Aviation