Italy Top Foreign Vacation Destination

July 23, 2010

Most Americans would choose to vacation in Italy if they could travel anywhere outside the US with money as no object, according to results of a new Harris Poll.

Italy, Australia Swap Places
Australia, last year’s number one, came in second this year to Italy, which was the runner-up in 2009. 2010 marks the second time since 1997 Australia has not come in first (it also placed second in 2008).

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Ireland, Great Britain, France Round Out top 5
Moving up to number three from fifth last year is Ireland, while Great Britain drops one spot to fourth and France drops one spot to fifth on the list this year. Rounding out the top 10, in a tie for sixth is Greece (up from eighth last year) and Germany (sixth last year); Japan is number eight (down from number seven); Spain moves up one spot to number nine; and New Zealand moves down one spot to number 10.

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Looking a little further into the list, Israel returns to the list for the first time since 2001 at number 11, followed by Canada at number 12 (down from number 11) and Mexico at number 13 again this year. The Netherlands debuts on the vacation destination list at number 14 and Switzerland is at number 15, down from 12th on the list last year.

Two countries drop off the list this year – Brazil, which was number 14 last year and Jamaica, which was number 15.

Gender, Generational Differences
Men and women have different favorite international travel spots. For men, Australia is number one, while for women, Italy takes the top spot.

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There are also differences by generation. Echo Boomers (those 18-33) and Baby Boomers (those 46-64) choose Italy as their top vacation destination. However, for Gen Xers (those 34-45) and Matures (those 65 and older), Australia is number one.

Two-thirds Plan Summer Vacation
Two-thirds (66%) of Americans are planning to take a summer vacation this year, according to another recent Harris Poll. This closely mirrors data from 2009, when 65% were planning a summer vacation. A solid 34% of Americans have no trips planned between May and August 2010, compared to 35% last year.

However, 47% plan one to two trips, while 13% plan three to four trips and 6% plan five trips or more this summer. A substantially lower percentage of Americans were planning five or more trips during summer 2009, otherwise last year’s figures are comparable.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 14 and 21, 2010 among 2,227 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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