US Outbound - October 2012
Despite the size of the US, outbound travel is not an aspiration shared by all its citizens. Foreign travel is undertaken by only one fifth of the population and only around one third of US citizens own a passport. Limitations are also posed by the low number of paid holidays received by the employed. At around 10-15 days, depending on the policy of each employer, Americans have little paid leave in contrast to the 20+ days that is common in some Western European countries.
Ranked second in the world by tourism expenditure, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2010, the US traveller is a prized commodity. Overseas travel is accessible and embraced by a range of demographics, since appeal extends to all ages. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946-64) are some of the most fervent overseas travellers, willing to indulge in more experiential travel. Families too are a key market as many parents see travel as an educational and leisure activity for kids and adults to enjoy together. The student is an important traveller, creating a peak in outbound travel during the spring, when so-called Spring-Breakers head overseas for a week of fun in the sun.
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