When you travel a lot, be it for business or pleasure, it might become difficult to remember that not everyone is as fortunate when it comes to travel. I’m not talking about “pausing” travel due to COVID-19. I mean, well, would you believe that eleven percent of Americans have never even traveled outside the state where they were born? Read on for some more interesting statistics…
Commissioned by Victorinox (manufacturers of luggage and Swiss Army Knives), a marketing research study of 2,000 Americans was conducted via survey to get an idea of U.S. citizens’ travel experiences and to find out why people didn’t travel more.
The results are pretty surprising and might even explain a little bit about why Americans have some knowledge gaps about the rest of the world. Take a look…
- 11% percent of the respondents have never traveled outside of the state where they were born.
- 54% of those who were surveyed have visited 10 states or less.
- 13% of the people who took the survey said they had never flown in a plane.
- 40% of respondents reported that had never left the country (but 63% of those said that an international trip would cost more than they could afford. 25% said they can’t find the time to travel. But three-quarters of them would like to travel more than they do).
- Over half of those surveyed said they’ve never owned a passport (note: Until 2009, U.S. citizens didn’t need a passport to enter Canada or Mexico, or to go on a cruise, which might have something to do with those numbers. I suspect that percentage will go down over the years.).
- 76% of the people who took the survey said they would like to travel more than they do, but don’t because of finances, trepidation, lack of time, etc.
Because the sponsor was Victorinox, there were, not surprisingly, several questions about luggage, as well:
- 60% of the respondents said that size and function were the most important qualities of luggage (with weight limitations for the past several years, I would think that how heavy a bag is would be up there, but I guess not).
- 32% of those surveyed said they don’t remember ever buying luggage.
- 30% of the people who answered the survey said they hadn’t bought new luggage in six or more years (Hey, my last big suitcase – a Samsonite Silhouette 5 EZ Cart – lasted me almost 20 years! Oh, how I LOVED that bag…).
- 13% of those who were surveyed don’t own luggage of any kind.
And the response that I personally found the most interesting? 10% of the people surveyed said they have no interest in going anywhere. Now, I’m sitting here thinking how cool it is that I’ve been able to go to all these places in the U.S. and around the world, met people from so many different corners of the globe, and got to learn about them and how the same and different we all are…and 10% of Americans (assuming the 2,000 people are an adequate representation of the country as a whole) have no interest in going anywhere? I know it’s different strokes for different folks but….wow. Y’know?
A spokesperson for Victorinox said:
“The results show that the vast majority of people have the desire to travel more but just haven’t quite been able to make the leap yet.”
“There is so much to see and explore, not just internationally but domestically as well, and it’s remarkable to see that so many people feel unprepared or don’t have the travel luggage that enables them to pack up and set off.”
“Given how many respondents strongly desire to venture out into the world, we fully understand the need to provide reasonable and dependable travel solutions for new travelers.”
The survey was originally conducted in 2017 and it looks as if it’s been picked up by one or more members of the media nearly every year or so, ever since. But, of course, the numbers always reflect back to the 2017 survey. Personally, I would LOVE to see if and how those numbers have changed since the pandemic. Is there any sort of a “You only live once” change of heart that would lead people to travel more? Do those who have quit their jobs as part of the Great American Walkout have more time and enough money, and therefore more inclined to travel? Hey, Victorinox, it would be a great follow-up!
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