Travel activities and motivations survey — U.S. travel market

Visiting Fairs and Festivals While on Trips of One or More Nights

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A Profile Report — July 4, 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 31.7% (69,847,152) of adult Americans visited fairs and festivals while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. A farmers' market or country fair (14.4%) was the most popular, followed by a fireworks display (12.3%), a free outdoor performance such as a play or concert (10.8%), an exhibition or fair (8.3%), a food or drink festival (7.7%), a carnival (6.9%), an ethnic festival (4.2%) and a circus (3.1%). 29.8% (20,824,610) of those visiting Fairs and Festivals reported that this activity was the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.

Those who visited fairs and festivals on trips are similar to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler in terms of gender, age, marital status and parental status, however, their level of education (61.8% university degree or higher) and household incomes ($78,425) are above-average. They are over-represented in Alaska and the New England, Middle Atlantic, East North Central and Pacific regions. They tend to live in large cities with populations of 2 million or more.

Over the past two years, those who visited fairs and festivals on trips traveled more frequently than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler and were more likely to have taken a trip to Canada (19.3% versus 14.6%). The most common Canadian destinations visited include Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. However, those who visited fairs and festivals are over-represented among U.S. travelers to all provinces and territories.

Those who visited fairs and festivals on trips were more likely than average to participate in a wide range of culture and entertainment activities while on trips in the past two years. Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, they were especially likely to attend theatre, film and music festivals and were more likely to participate in a wide range of outdoor activities on trips (e.g., ocean activities, wildlife viewing), and to take a variety of tours and cruises. Those who visited fairs and festivals on trips exhibit particular interest in food-related activities. They were more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to go fine dining and to visit spas, to have stayed at a country inn or resort with a gourmet restaurant or a cooking or wine tasting school and to have taken a winery tour. They seek vacation destinations that offer novelty, intellectual stimulation and opportunities to learn (e.g., gain knowledge of history and other cultures or places).

The majority in this segment have used the Internet to plan (75.6%) and book travel (54.8%) in the past two years. They are avid consumers of travel-related media (including websites, newspapers, magazines, television). Home and garden-related programming is also an effective method to reach this segment (e.g., house & home websites, home & garden and cooking TV shows, craft, antique & collectible magazines).