Almost a third of Brits believe Lapland is a fictional place, according to a study.
Researchers who polled 2,000 adults found many are clueless about the region, with one in 10 having checked the internet to find out if it is a real location or not.
Just 22 per cent understand Lapland spans across Norway, Finland, Sweden, and part of Russia.
One in 10 adults believe ‘Santa’s land’ covers just Iceland and Greenland, while a fifth think it is a country in its own right.
A spokesman for TUI, which carried out the study and offer day trips and breaks to Lapland, said:
Whilst TUI have been sending people to Lapland for a long time you can understand why many Brits believe Lapland is a made up place, as much of the region is magical and if you haven’t visited, you might only think of it as the fictional home of Santa.
In reality, Lapland is a huge place spanning multiple countries, despite being very sparsely populated.
But Lapland isn’t the only location to cause confusion, according to the study by TUI – 32 per cent have no idea Transylvania is on the map, while a further 38 per cent don’t believe in Christmas Island.
Incredibly, seven per cent of adults think Hogwarts – the school of wizardry in the famous Harry Potter novels – is a real place.
And six per cent believe the home of Batman, Gotham City, exists.
In contrast, 26 per cent of Brits don’t know Easter Island was real, while 57 per cent are baffled about the Mumbles in Swansea Bay.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 38 per cent of adults don’t know Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a village situated in Anglesey in Wales.
More than a third of adults admit their geographical knowledge is so poor they have had to check on a globe or a map to see if a place was real or not – but by doing so, one in 10 then went on to book a holiday in that location.
Sadly one in 10 Brits were left red-faced after trying to book a holiday to somewhere that turned out to be a fictional destination.
But of those who do believe Lapland is a real place – 55 per cent would love to visit one day, the OnePoll study found.
The spokesman for TUI added:
The study indicates many people are unsure about which places are real and which are not – and we tend to get so absorbed in fantasy worlds such as Harry Potter and Batman, it’s no wonder we can get confused about whether they exist in reality.
The great thing about Lapland is it’s absolutely real and the magic is truly spectacular.
There is so much to do as well as visiting the main man himself; it is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights and TUI offers many activities including snowmobile rides and the scenery is incredible.
TUI offers day trips and three night breaks to a variety of areas in Lapland including new gateway Kussamo where, once you’ve been given your thermals, you can experience huskies and reindeers whilst finishing the trip with a visit to Father Christmas and a traditional Christmas dinner.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.