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

Visits to Historical Sites, Museums & Art Galleries 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, 41.4% (91,158,918) of adult Americans visited historical sites, museums and art galleries while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. Strolling around a city to observe buildings and architecture (25.6%) was the most popular activity, followed by visits to historical sites or buildings (23.1% well-known sites and buildings, 19.2% less well-known sites and buildings), visits to well-known natural wonders (16.3%), visits to museums (15.0% general history, 7.9% military), visits to art galleries (11.1%), and visits to historical replicas of cities or towns (7.2%). 32.8% (29,941,969) of those who visited historical sites, museums or galleries reported that this activity was the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.

Those visiting Historical Sites, Museums and Art Galleries on trips are somewhat older and less likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to have dependent children under 18 living at home. They are more likely than average to have a university education and their household income ($80,734) is above-average. They are over-represented in Alaska and the Pacific, New England, Mountain and Middle Atlantic regions. They tend to live in mid-sized and larger cities.

Over the past two years, those who visited Historical Sites, Museums and Art Galleries on trips were somewhat more likely to have taken a trip to Canada (19.7% versus 14.6%). The most common Canadian destinations were Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec however, these U.S. travelers were over-represented among U.S. visitors to all Canadian provinces and territories.

Those who visited Historical Sites, Museums and Art Galleries on trips were also more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to engage in culture and entertainment activities while on trips in the past two years, and especially activities which offer an opportunity to learn (e.g., participatory historical activities, science & technology exhibit, aboriginal culture experiences). Consistent with this fact, this segment is more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to seek vacation experiences that offer opportunities to learn (e.g., see or do something new and different, enrich perspective on life). They were also more likely than average to participate in outdoor activities when on trips, and especially wildlife viewing, and to have taken tours and cruises during the last two years.

Most use the Internet to plan their trips (77.5%), and 57.1% booked at least part of a trip online in the past two years. They are more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to obtain travel information from official travel guides and brochures and they are avid consumers of travel-related media (especially magazines) and news and current events media (e.g., talk & news radio, newspaper websites, network news websites). These are prime media channels by which to reach this segment.