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BizReport : Research : January 24, 2013

85% of Americans stuck in a holiday destination rut

According to a poll of 1,053 Americans by, the vast majority play it safe when deciding where to take their next vacation by going to somewhere they have already visited.

by Helen Leggatt

8719_cheapflightsLOGO.jpgI don't like to read a book twice nor watch a film more than once. And I certainly like to vary where I go on vacation. However, 85% of Americans are creatures of habit, or afraid of change, and they take vacations in places they have already visited.

"Great weather" and "good prices" are both the top reasons why Americans return to one destination time and time again. "Great bars and nightlife" and, strangely, "the number of good-looking people" were cited as the least important factors.

"Reports abound underscoring the fact that workers in the U.S. (aka the 'no-vacation nation') receive fewer paid vacation days than people in other countries and, alarmingly, Americans don't take all the vacation time they're allotted," said Melisse Hinkle, site editor for "Now, we're seeing that, when folks take time off, they are extremely prone to revisiting favorite spots rather than choosing to experience new places."

Florida was the place most likely to see repeat vacationers (15.5%) followed by Las Vegas and the Southwest US. Women preferred the Caribbean while men, surprise surprise, prefer Las Vegas.

Not only are Americans visiting the same destinations year after year, they are also returning to the same restaurants and the same local attractions.

When asked what their ideal destination would be, kangaroos and Hobbits featured highly with 20% citing Australia and New Zealand. Alaska was the second most-popular choice (14%). After the top two destinations a gender split emerges with women choosing Eastern Europe (9%) and men choosing Japan.

Chartered psychologist Dr. Jane McCartney was asked to review the survey responses. She remarked that, while "order and structure is good", a change is as good as a rest.

"Most humans need a degree of difference and novelty to remain stimulated, interested, creative and productive," she said. "The research indicates, in fact, that lots of people do want to visit different holiday destinations - but, in spite of their resolutions, they end up not doing it."

Tags: destination marketing, holiday trends, research, vacaction

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