People are already planning for their summer vacation season and, although unrelated, so is the planning for the 2024 election season. We already know how much politics has divided our country over the past few years but did you know that conservative and liberal voters even tend to travel and vacation differently?
MRI-Simmons is the leading provider of insights on the American consumer. Previously two separate research companies (GfK MRI, and Simmons Research), joined forces in early 2019. As per Linked In, “With thousands of attitudinal and behavioral data points, gathered through ongoing surveys and passive measurement, MRI-Simmons empowers advertisers, agencies and media companies with deeper insights into the “why” behind consumer behavior.”
It’s already been determined that people who lean red or blue have different preferences when it comes to television shows, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, craft beer, and the list goes on and on. So is it any surprise that their vacations tend to be different, as well?
According to a 2019 NBC News’ report of MRI-Simmons’ survey, here are some of the key differences between the two groups:
- 57% of liberals had passports, whereas only 48% of conservatives did. This fits in with liberals being more likely to visit a foreign country on their vacation. It may also suggest that blue flavored people might be more willing to fly to their destination than red flavored people.
- When wanting to relax, conservatives prefer fishing and golf, whereas liberals prefer going to a beach or experiencing fine dining. It’s thought that liberals tend to be younger and are slightly more likely to have incomes over $100,000, which could tie in with their preferred ways to relax. It’s also noted in this 2018 Travel Weekly article that, “Statistically,…liberals are more likely to gravitate more toward five categories than conservatives: exploration, experiencing different cultures, experiencing new cuisines, self-discovery and meeting new people.”
NBC News showed how different destinations tend to have more left or right-leaning visitors. They used two popular tourist destinations: Branson, Missouri and Park County, Wyoming (the ski area on the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park). Here are the cities where the most tourists were from for each of the destinations:
|New York||Kansas City|
|Salt Lake City||Little Rock|
Parks like Yellowstone tend to get more visitors from big cities – which means more chance of flying there. But besides that, big cities tend to be politically Democratic. Branson’s visitors tend to be from smaller communities that are closer to their destination – so they drive – and many of them tend to vote Republican.
Of course, all of this doesn’t hold 100% true – case in point, I am decidedly left leaning and I like to go fishing. Also, if given a choice, I would prefer a place like Branson more so than Yellowstone. Meanwhile, I’m sure there are plenty of right-leaning people who love the beach, a good meal, and going skiing.
But I bet there’s one thing we can all agree on, regardless of which side of the political fence we lean on: going on vacation is awesome.
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