Psychographic surveys provide information that helps pinpoint various travel markets. One such Canadian study distinguished between the quiet lake person and the overseas traveler. The type of person who agreed with the statement: A cabin by a quiet lake is a great place to spend a summer might live next door to the person who says, I would like to take a trip around the world. As might be guessed the self-concept and values of the two persons are widely different.
The quiet lake individual tended to agree with statements like:
My children are the most important thing in my life.
Part of every vacation should be educational.
The father should be the boss in the house.
A woman’s place is in the home.
The Army is a good career for young men.
The overseas traveler was quite naturally interested in new experiences, was active and aggressive, socially active, self-confident and interested in clothes. The overseas traveler tended to agree with statements such as:
I like to be considered a leader.
I like danger.
I would do better than average in a fistfight.
I like to shop for clothes.
I expect my income to be a lot higher in the next five years.
About two-thirds of those surveyed preferred the quiet lake to the around-the-world vacation.3
A Canadian Government Travel Bureau study found that during vacation some people preferred to stay at home while others preferred to travel. These two groups were quite different in personality. Vacation-traveling Canadians were reflective, tended to constantly examine their own actions and those of others. This trait distinguished them the most from other Canadians who took no vacations at all. The traveling vacationers were also more active, more confident, more inquisitive, more outgoing and more sociable.
As might be expected world travelers are more apt to use credit cards.
Desire for change, says the head of Thompson’s Travel, is the driving force for travel abroad. He should know because Thompson’s Travel, an English concern, has some
800,000 clients and is probably the largest of the tour packagers. Some of Thompson’s customers are so enamored of change that they buy tours to Siberia in mid-winter.
Plain, old-fashioned boredom is no doubt responsible for much international travel. For many people, travel has proved a healthful means of coping with tedium, a relatively fast, safe and usually educational way of changing perspective. Travel involves some planning, at least a little challenge, something to anticipate before a trip starts. Arrival at a destination is a change of environment; it can be like stepping through a door into a radically different culture. The jaded jetsetter may need to travel no less than the lonely widow to escape that bane of existence, boredom.