Travel activities and motivations survey — U.S. travel market

Visiting Science and Technology Exhibits While on Trips of One or More Nights

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A Profile Report — July 4, 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 19.1% (42,267,186) of adult Americans visited a science and technology exhibit while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. An IMAX theatre (9.5%) and a science and technology museum (9.3%) were the most popular venues visited, followed by a children's museum (4.8%), a science and technology theme park (3.7%) and a planetarium (3.5%). 22.4% (9,479,158) of those visiting science and technology exhibits reported that this activity was the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.

Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, Science and Technology Exhibit Visitors are over-represented among 35 to 44 year olds who are married with dependent children (under 18) living at home. This suggests that these attractions may appeal most to those traveling with children. Their level of education (68.1% university degree or higher) and household incomes ($83,286) are above-average. They are well-represented across the United States and in communities of all sizes.
Over the past two years, Science and Technology Exhibit Visitors traveled more frequently than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler and were more likely to have taken a trip to Canada (22.3% versus 14.6%). The most common Canadian destinations were Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, however they are over-represented among U.S visitors to all Canadian provinces and territories.

Science and Technology Exhibit Visitors participated in an extensive range of activities when on trips. They were more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to engage in all types of culture and entertainment activity (e.g., shopping & dining, historical sites, museums & art galleries, theme parks & exhibits), outdoor activities (e.g., wildlife viewing, ocean activities), and tours and cruises (e.g., sameday guided or self-guided tours, sightseeing cruises). They tended to stay at seaside resorts, public campgrounds, or lakeside or riverside resorts. This segment is more likely than others to take family-oriented trips and to seek vacation experiences that are novel and offer opportunities to learn. They are also interested in destinations that offer lots for children to see and do.

The Internet is a very important tool for this segment. Most used the Internet for planning (81.2%) and booking (60.9%) trips in the past two years. They are more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to use the specific website of an attraction or an exhibit to obtain information and purchase tickets. They are avid consumers of travel-related media and can also be targeted through media with a science and nature theme (e.g., science & geography magazines).