The latest “Travelhorizons” survey conducted by marketing agency MMGY Global has found Americans are increasingly interested in immersing themselves in other cultures when selecting a vacation destination.
The survey of 2,301 U.S. adults reveals that more than half of U.S. adults say it is essential to learn about new cultures and gain perspective on new ways of life. Two-thirds of millennials believe so, as do 53% of Gen Xers.
Times have changed since I was a kid. The family vacation was a big deal. Learning about new cultures? Not so much. Unless you consider exploring the wilds of Northern New Jersey a new cultural experience. It really wasn’t, but swimming in the lake was fun.
It was a simpler time.
According to the survey, more than half of those polled want to explore a culture that is different from their own or spend time with local people from the destination. A while back, I had the chance to visit South Africa, where one of the local guides graciously invited our traveling party to visit his family’s village. What an unforgettable experience.
While there is interest in visiting other cultures, Americans are also cautious about selecting destinations. Three-quarters of those surveyed emphasized the importance of feeling welcomed.
Of course, in the era of the Alienator-In-Chief, the welcoming world is a bit smaller. Here’s the U.S. State Department’s take.