Leisure varies across countries and cultures

Your culture significantly influences not only how much leisure you have, but the activities you choose for your leisure time. People in Turkey spend 10 times more time visiting and entertaining friends than do residents of Australia. Read on to learn more about cultural differences in leisure.

Each culture has an impact on its society's leisure, influencing to some degree what people do in their leisure time, which leisure activities take priority over others and how much time and money people spend in different leisure activities. Our company works in many cultures throughout the world. We carefully research the local culture and its nuances that influence leisure and entertainment before we move forward with concept development and design of leisure projects. You just can't take a standard Western leisure model and expect it to be successful in another culture. In fact, even in America, there are enough significant cultural differences from one area of the country to another that a project should to be localized.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development recently undertook a study of social trends in 18 countries. Here are a few highlights:

The French spend more time eating and drinking, almost twice as much time as residents of Canada and the United States. Mexicans spend the least time eating and drinking.

The French also spend the most time sleeping (maybe as a result of drinking?). Koreans and Japanese sleep the least.

People in Norway, Germany and Belgium spend the most time in leisure activities.

When we drilled down into how people spend their leisure time around the world, we found significant differences in the percentage of leisure time spent visiting and entertaining friends. People in Turkey spend one third of their leisure time with friends and New Zealanders about one quarter, compared to people in Australia, Germany, Japan and Spain, who spend less then 5% of their time visiting and entertaining friends.