Travel activities and motivations survey — U.S. Travel Market

Visiting Archaeological Digs & Sites While on Trips of One or More Nights

Full report available in pdf format

A Profile Report — August 31, 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 4.2% (9,414,005) of adult Americans visited archaeological digs and sites while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. Archaeological or paleontological sites (3.9%) were visited more often than were archaeological digs (0.7%). 27.2% (2,562,458) of those who visited archaeological digs or sites reported that this activity was the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.

Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, those who visited archaeological digs and sites while on trips are slightly more likely to be male, and tend to be middle-aged or older (59.7% 45 or older) and married without dependent children (18 or younger) living at home. This is an affluent, well-educated segment with a high level of education (33.5% post-graduate degree) and above-average household incomes ($95,591). They are over-represented in Alaska and the Mountain, Pacific, West North Central and West South Central regions of the United States.

Over the past two years, those who visited archaeological digs and sites on trips traveled more frequently than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler and they were almost twice as likely to have taken a trip to Canada (27.7% versus 14.6%). The most common Canadian destinations were Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, however, they were over-represented among U.S. visitors to all Canadian provinces and territories. This segment is a prime target market for Canadian tourism initiatives.

Those who visited archaeological digs and sites while on trips were much more active and adventurous than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler. They were much more likely than average to participate in all culture and entertainment activities while on trips and especially attractions that offer an opportunity to learn (e.g., science & technology exhibits, aboriginal cultural experiences) and sample fine cuisine (e.g., wine, beer & food tastings). They were also much more likely than average to engage in outdoor activities on trips, and in particular, activities in a natural setting (e.g., wildlife viewing, and hiking, climbing & paddling, wilderness tours, wilderness lodge or outpost). Not surprisingly, this segment seeks vacations that offer novelty, intellectual stimulation and learning opportunities.

This segment is more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to use the Internet to plan (83.0%) and book trips (62.4%). They are avid consumers of travel-related media. They may also be effectively targeted through television, magazines and websites that reflect their interest in natural science and in news and current events.