More than half of Americans who traveled in the past two years
either volunteered or made a charitable donation to a place they visited,
according to a study released Thursday.
back in some way — formally or informally — is ingrained in the value system
of most U.S. travelers,” according to the study, which was conducted by travel researcher Phocuswright on behalf of the U.S. travel industry-supported nonprofit
Tourism Cares. “At home or in far-flung destinations, many travelers give back
as a matter of course, in a way that is meaningful and convenient to them.”
The study’s sample consisted of 2,551 online
respondents, each of whom had a household income of at least $50,000 and had
traveled more than 75 miles from home in the past two years. Among those who
said that they had donated, 48% said that it was either “very important” or
“extremely important” that their travel spending benefit the communities they
visit. In addition, 64% said that giving back contributed strongly to the
satisfaction of their trip while 34% said that commitment to social
responsibility was a factor in their choice of a travel company.
The study, titled “Good Travels: The Philanthropic Profile of the
American Traveler,” also revealed that millennials donate more time, more money
and more in-kind gifts than older travelers. In fact, the survey found that,
among those who had donated, travelers between ages 18 and 34 gave two and a
half times more hours, nearly three times more money, and more than four times
more in-kind donations than travelers over the age of 55.
“Millennials are often derided as the
'me’ generation, but they may in fact be the 'generous
generation,'” the study's authors wrote.
Families also contributed more than other travelers, volunteering
for 38 hours on their most meaningful trip, 12 hours longer than the average
among the survey respondents who have donated over the past two years.
Phocuswright is owned by Northstar Travel Media, which also owns Travel Weekly,
and Travel Weekly Editor in Chief Arnie Weissmann serves on the board of