Globus: 15.7 million Americans to take faith-based trips abroad

One-third of all Americans who travel abroad, or approximately 15.7 million American adults, said they plan on taking a faith-based vacation in the future, according to a study commissioned by Globus Family of Brands and conducted by Menlo Consulting Group.

The survey was conducted with 2,679 outbound pleasure travelers, defined as U.S. adults who took at least one pleasure trip of five or more nights beyond the continental U.S. in the past three years.

Of those outbound pleasure travelers questioned, 9.5% have previously traveled internationally on a religious or faith-based trip. The survey concluded that past religious travelers comprise a market of 4.5 million American adults.

The survey also found that one-third of all outbound travelers are likely to take a religious or faith-based vacation sometime in the future. About 80% of past religious travelers said they intend to repeat the experience at some point.

"There's no doubt that religious vacations will continue to be a booming trend in the travel industry," Mike Schields, director of group sales and emerging markets for the Globus family of brands, said in a statement. "One driving factor is how meaningful these trips can be for the traveler. Our study showed that eight in 10 past religious travelers plan to repeat the experience in the future -- it's just an incredible testament to the personal enlightenment that many have on faith-based vacations."

Globus introduced a religious travel division (www.globusfaith.com) in 2004 catering mostly to Catholic and Protestant/Christian denominations; Globus has increased its faith-based departures by 60% for 2008.

Examples of Globus' faith-based itineraries include a six-night Legacy of Pope John Paul II tour (from $1,249, land only); a nine-night Jordan & Egypt in the Bible (from $1,649, land only); and an eight-night Oberammergau Vacation -- Catholic Germany & Alps, slated for 2010.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Michelle Baran at [email protected].

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