SURVEY: U.S travellers stick to the beach

18th May 2006

It’s official: when it comes to planning their vacation getaways, more Americans prefer to spend their down time luxuriating on a warm, sunny beach over any other activity.This is according to a recent online Omnibus survey conducted nationwide for MasterCard Advisors Global Cardholder Services. Additionally, Florida is by far their most likely vacation destination.

In a recent survey of more than 1,100 U.S. adults on vacation preferences, hitting the beach and other warm-weather activities were the top choice of 29% of those questioned, easily out-polling other pastimes such as camping, visiting a spa or playing golf. The preference for sun and surf was shared across all ages, income levels, genders and regions, the survey found. Child-friendly destinations were the second choice (12%) of those surveyed, while historical/cultural destinations came in a close third (10%).

The survey also found that while Americans may dream of visiting far-off and exotic locales, when it actually comes to booking a vacation, few venture outside the country. While almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) said they dreamed of visiting Australia or New Zealand over the next 12 months, only one percent actually planned to head overseas in that period. By contrast, some 69% of those queried said they planned to visit the Sunshine State in the same period.

“While we weren’t surprised that sun and beach vacations were the overall winner, we were intrigued to note that Florida was the No. 1 destination in every demographic, even with other sunny spots such as the Caribbean nearby,” said Alice Droogan, vice president, Global Cardholder Services, MasterCard Advisors.

The survey of vacation preferences also revealed:


—Hawaii was the top dream vacation destination for Generation X (age 30-41) and Y (age 18-29) respondents (72% for each demographic group).

—Surprisingly, a greater number of women (9%) actually preferred camping than did men (7%), while men showed a preference for exotic locales (11% compared to 4% for women) and golf (4% of men, 1% of women).

—Some 45% of Generation X’ers and 49% of Generation Y’ers fantasize about going on an African safari.

A Top Concern For Travelers: Loss of Credit Card

Major worries among the would-be travelers polled were the loss of their credit cards or travel documents, and getting sick. Twenty-six percent of respondents were more concerned about losing their credit cards, travel documents (25%) or getting sick (24%) as compared with losing luggage (15%) or getting into an accident or otherwise damaging a rental car (10%).



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