Americans are homeward-bound in favorite travel destination

In a hypothetical scenario, if money is no object, Americans favorite destination would be ... America. 

Thats what the Global Market Institute of Seattle discovered in its latest Nation Brand Index study, conducted with Simon Anholt, an author of several books on how countries are perceived as brands.

The study surveyed 1,000 Americans, whose opinions were broken out separately from a larger study of more than 25,000 online consumers in 35 countries.

Respondents were asked to rate their interest in visiting 35 countries. Australia ranked second in the survey; South Korea was deemed the least desired global destination by Americans.

Subjects were asked to rate each country on a seven-point scale, with seven being strongly most likely to go and one representing the least interest.

The results were then combined using a formula to determine a mean value for each.

The report also asked respondents to rate countries in other ways, including by various provided descriptors. Italy, for example, was most romantic; Australia was most exciting; Canada was described as predictable.

The survey asked what destinations people preferred, but not why they preferred them.

In a statement, Anholt said the findings corroborated data from the Travel Industry Association that said domestic travel is enjoying slow, steady growth, and he suggested that economics, perceived high prices, lack of time and terrorism still tainting the air were among the reasons why people might want to stay close to home.

There is lots of discussion about the apparent growth in domestic travel, such as high fuel prices, fear of terrorism, etc., said Kate Brooks, a spokeswoman for GMI.

Were hinting at the reasons, but we collect the data by asking pertinent questions. Its not our place to offer reasons.  


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