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More Americans staying in the U.S. this summer, study suggests

April 01, 2012|By Hugo Martin
(Mark Boster/ Los Angeles…)

With airfares to Europe on the rise, it looks like Americans are planning to rediscover the good ol’ USA this summer.

As a result, perhaps more Americans will use the opportunity to finally visit some of the country’s landmarks like the Alamo and the Grand Canyon that sometimes get overlooked.

Airfares to Europe have climbed about 11% for this summer compared to last year, according to the travel website, Kayak.com, which attributes the jump to airlines trying to cash in on travelers visiting the London Olympics starting in July.

And so, data from online searches on Kayak show that U.S. travelers are planning more domestic trips this summer than in the past.

For example, Kayak found that searches for flights to Los Angeles this summer are up 22% compared to the same time last year, while searches for Las Vegas are up 20%. Searches for flights to Hawaii and San Francisco are also up by double-digit increases.

In contrast, searches on Kayak for flights to Rome are down 65% compared to the same time last year, while searches for flights to London dropped 40%, according to Kayak.

The growth in domestic travel may address a surprising national condition: Most American adults have not visited some of the nation’s best-known landmarks.

For example, 72% of U.S. adults have never visited the Alamo, the site of a pivotal battle in the Texas revolution against Mexico, according to a survey of more than 2,000 adults commissioned by Hotwire.com and conducted by Harris Interactive.

According to the survey, 65% of American adults have yet to visit the Grand Canyon, 62% have not checked out the Statue of Liberty and 61% have never been to the Golden Gate Bridge. Just over half (57%) of U.S. adults have never checked out the White House, the survey said.

Why?

“Often when folks plan a vacation, they are attracted to the lure of an island, beach or big city, leaving many of America’s historical sites and natural wonders unseen,” said Clem Bason, president of the Hotwire Group. “Overall, I think we just take for granted the diversity, richness and memorable experiences our country offers.”

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