The all-American road trip is back. And this year, travelers are packing their patriotism according to a Harris Interactive/Holiday Inn poll released today. Interest in visiting patriotic sites and historic cities is up 22% from last year, indicating traffic to American landmarks may increase by as many as 63 million visitors this year.
Family, Car & Country: The poll of 1,002 households conducted in April 2002 for the 50th anniversary of Holiday Inn discovered more than two-thirds (68%) of all travelers and nearly four out of five (79%) of those with children plan to hit the road to enjoy all things Americana. Which landmarks best symbolize the spirit of America? And which American landmarks draw the most visitors? Survey says…
Symbol of America: Lady Liberty: Nearly half of respondents (45%) named the Statute of Liberty as the best representation of the American spirit, although nearly two-thirds (61%) of Americans have never visited it. Distant runner-ups include the White House (11%) and the Grand Canyon (7%).
Most Visited U.S. Landmarks:
1) Washington Memorial (46%)
2) Capitol Building (43%)
3) White House (42%) 4) Golden Gate Bridge (41%) 5) The Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island (39%) 6) Grand Canyon (39%) 7) Empire State Building (36%) 8) Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial (30%) 9) Liberty Bell (28%) 10) Mount Rushmore (22%)
Interest in domestic travel isn’t limited to just those with children, however. Younger and older generations alike are packing their bags to rediscover their homeland. One in five Americans age 18-24 plan to visit American cities and landmarks this year, along with one in four age 55-64.
The survey was commissioned by Holiday Inn in celebration of “the road trip that changed the world” which led to the founding of “America’s Hotel” in 1952.
50th Anniversary of Holiday Inn: Holiday Inn Founder Kemmons Wilson returned from a family road trip to Washington, DC in the summer of 1951 dissatisfied with the lack of family and value-oriented lodging options, decided to take matters into his own hands, and in doing so, gave birth to an American brand. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the first Holiday Inn hotel opening in Memphis, Tenn. and the launch of an industry trailblazer that set the standard for mid-scale hotels.
Over the past fifty years, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, with 1,600 properties worldwide, has retained the core ideals of family, value and entrepreneurial spirit and grown to become the most recognized lodging brand in the world. As America’s Hotel, the brand drives industry standards that travelers expect from all hotel chains and has introduced services and amenities to the industry that include: computerized reservations systems and online reservations; a guest frequency program; a centralized travel agency commission program; in-room telephones, televisions and air conditioning; free ice; free parking; swimming pools, on-site restaurants and conference rooms at every hotel; and free accommodations and meals for children. For more information on the Holiday Inn 50th Anniversary, go to www.holiday-inn.com.