Survey shows number of US tourists rises significantly

Tourism traffic from the US to Greece appears to be increasing for a third consecutive year, according to initial estimates. The last couple of years have seen the biggest ever increases in US tourist visits to Greece, exceeding 360,000 last year. There is also strong interest for visits to Greece through cruises, as has been confirmed with the advent of US cruising companies which have included Greece in their schedules. The latest survey by the Travel Industry Association of the US in association with American Express on Americans’ travel habits has shown that 124 million Americans went on vacation last year, that is 55 percent of the adult population, with the typical traveller making three trips per year. In average, a household spends $1,500 (-1,110) in each vacation trip and travels 1,200 miles (1,920 kilometers). Traveling by car remains the most popular means of transport for a vacation trip. Still, at least once a year they make a trip by airplane. Americans often travel with their partner or other close people (62 percent). The most popular destinations for them are cities (39 percent), followed by towns and the countryside (26 percent) and finally the ocean beaches (23 percent). Their most common activities while on vacation are sightseeing and shopping (51 percent each), which Greece can cater for successfully. The survey showed that resting and spending time with people they consider important are the most significant elements of any vacation. Spending time with family is therefore key for recreation trips, while elements such as liberty, escaping and more time with a partner are less satisfied. Crucially for Greece, US travelers consider ideal the vacation destinations which offer an easy traveling experience, the feeling of entertainment and adventure, and a clear sense of the location they visit. Although almost nine out of 10 were particularly satisfied with their latest trip, less than half of them said it was close to what they consider ideal. Lisa Gregg, the vice president of American Express on North American market development, commented that «while Americans still love traveling for vacation, this survey reveals that the tourism industry has the ability to do much more to upgrade the vacation that offers experiences to travelers regardless of their age, family type and motives.»

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