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Expedia Finds an Intrepid Explorer in Most Americans, Even Though Only 27 Percent of Adults Hold a Valid Passport
Travelers Score High on Knowledge of Theme Parks and Vegas but If Given the Choice, They'd Visit Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu Instead
PRNewswire-FirstCall
BELLEVUE, Wash.

There's a hidden explorer inside most Americans, but few have satisfied their urge to travel to far-flung places, research by Expedia.com(R), the world's leading online travel service, and a separate study conducted by Harris Interactive(R) revealed today.

More than 85,000 people have found their Travel Quotient (TQ) through a unique quiz devised by Expedia(R) to measure the travel knowledge and personality of Americans. "Intrepid Explorer" won out as the top travel persona, even though Expedia's survey by Harris Interactive found that a quarter (25 percent) of American adults have never left the U.S., and just over one-third (36 percent) have visited more than two countries. The survey also found that only 4 in 10 (42 percent) Americans have ever held a U.S. passport.

An overwhelming 56 percent of TQ respondents fell into the Intrepid Explorer category, confirming the allure of international travel and conveying that experiencing new cultures is an important aspect of American life. However, when it comes to true travel knowledge, Americans scored highest on questions related to travel within the lower 48 -- such as the location of major theme parks or names of Las Vegas hotels. On the other hand, matching international currencies to countries stymied more than two-thirds of quiz-takers.

"The popularity and findings of our TQ survey prove that we all dream of vacations we would take if we had more time off and fewer obligations," said Stuart MacDonald, senior vice president of marketing and packages at Expedia.com. "At Expedia, our goal is to make those dreams a reality by helping travelers find the best choices and value no matter what type of trip they're seeking. Now all Americans need to do is get those passports ready."

The second most common travel profile found in the TQ survey was that of an Escape Artist (21 percent) -- describing those who simply need a few extra hours to turn any average weekend into a much-needed break. Closely following were Beachcombers (19 percent), the travelers who prefer to maximize sun time and R&R on vacation. The Travel Quotient quiz, which was created for the launch of MSN's new Travel Central hub in April, is now available at www.expedia.com/tq.

Expedia's research also revealed the following:

-- 66 percent of those polled knew where to find Trafalgar Square, though fewer than 24 percent have ever visited London.

-- Men tend to be more widely traveled than women -- for those who have been outside the US, men have visited an average of 4.4 countries compared to 2.9 for women.

-- Americans from the Northeast lead the country in overseas travel, having visited a mean of 4.5 countries compared to 2.2 countries visited by those in the Midwest.

-- Not surprisingly, Canada (66 percent) and Mexico (58 percent) were the top two international destinations visited by Americans, followed by Continental Europe (34 percent), The Caribbean (32 percent) and The British Isles (24 percent).

-- 99% of adult Americans who participated in the survey have traveled outside their home state.

-- 61 percent have visited more than 10 states and nearly 1 in 10 (9 percent) have visited more than 40 states.

Wherever travelers want to explore this summer -- the city, the beach, theme parks, or Europe -- Expedia can help Intrepid Explorers and Beachcombers alike create the perfect summer trip and save on already low hotel rates. Following is a sample of Expedia's deals in 50 hot summer destinations for travel now through Sept. 6, 2004:

Intrepid Explorer

-- Explore the sites and sounds of beautiful Cannes for four nights from $893 per person, including airfare.

-- Kick off an adventure in Asia by staying at Singapore's Le Meridien from $85 a night.

-- Experience la vida loca in Rio de Janeiro for six nights, including airfare, from $925 per person.

Escape Artist

-- Win big in Las Vegas with three nights' hotel and airfare from $256 per person.

-- Climb every mountain -- book a five-night stay in Whistler's Mountainside Lodge plus airfare from Seattle to Vancouver from $393 per person.

-- Head to New Orleans from $310 per person for three nights' hotel and airfare.

Beachcomber

-- Travel from Los Angeles to Los Cabos, Mexico from $546 per person including a four-night stay and airfare.

-- Soak in the tropics with six nights' hotel and airfare to the Bahamas from $683 per person.

-- Leave the bustling streets of New York behind and enjoy airfare and a four-night stay in Daytona Beach from $391 per person.

Family Fun Seeker

-- Journey to Orlando from $50 per night with easy access to Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios.

-- Hop on a plane to Disneyland and stay three nights from $364 per person.

-- Venture to SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio from $443 per person for three nights' hotel and airfare.

About Expedia, Inc.

Expedia, Inc. is the world's leading online travel service and the fourth largest travel agency in the U.S. Expedia's award-winning Expert Searching and Pricing (ESP) technology delivers the most comprehensive flight options available online. ESP also allows customers to dynamically build complete trips that combine flights, Expedia(R) Special Rate hotels and other lodging, ground transportation, and destination services and activities. Expedia's quality and leadership have been recognized in awards such as PC Magazine's "Editors' Choice" and Forbes "Favorite General Travel Site." Expedia, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp . CST: 2029030-40

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive (www.harrisinteractive.com) is a worldwide market research and consulting firm best known for The Harris Poll(R), and for pioneering the Internet method to conduct scientifically accurate market research. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Harris Interactive combines proprietary methodologies and technology with expertise in predictive, custom and strategic research. The Company conducts international research from its U.S. offices and through wholly owned subsidiaries-London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris and Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan-as well as through the Harris Interactive Global Network of independent market- and opinion-research firms.

Survey Methodology

Harris Interactive(R) fielded the study from April 30 - May 4, 2004, via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,051 U.S. Adults (18+). In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire adult population had been polled with complete accuracy. This is not a probability sample. Data were propensity-weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity.

NOTE: Expedia, Expedia.com, and the airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the United States, Canada and/or other countries. Other products and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Expedia, Inc.

CONTACT: press only, Jennifer Doidge of Fleishman-Hillard,
+1-415-318-4004, or doidgej@fleishman.com, for Expedia, Inc.