Survey: Americans Seek More Culturally Immersive Experiences

WASHINGTON—The latest Travelhorizons survey conducted by travel marketing firm MMGY Global found that Americans are increasingly interested in immersing themselves in other cultures when selecting a vacation destination.

The survey of 2,301 U.S. adults uncovered that more than half of U.S. adults (53%) indicate it is essential to learn about new cultures and gain perspective on new ways of life. Two-thirds of millennials (65%) believe this finding is important, followed by 53% of Gen Xers.

Furthermore, six in 10 U.S. adults (58%) believe it is vital to learn about the culture of the destination they are visiting. Half want to explore a new culture that is different from their own (53%) or spend time with local people from the destination (48%). As a result of visiting a foreign country and meeting its residents, nearly four in 10 U.S. adults (36%) perceived them differently. Half (50%) felt a great affection for the people, while four in 10 (39%) thought they shared many social values.

While there is interest in visiting other cultures, Americans are also trepidatious about where they travel. When choosing a vacation destination, three-quarters (75%) of U.S. adults emphasize the importance of feeling welcomed, and 65% prefer to go to a place that makes them feel comfortable and feels familiar.