New Study Shows People with Passports are Happier

Passport // Photo by Maudib/iStock/Getty Images Plus

According to a survey conducted by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton, Americans with passports are more likely to be content with their lives than those who do not have passports. Based on their findings, Hilton Hotels & Resorts is launching the Hilton Passport Project to put more passports in the hands of Americans to help them experience travel.

"For nearly 100 years, we've witnessed the profound impact travel has on the lives of our guests," says Stuart Foster, vice president, global brand marketing. "With more than 570 hotels in the heart of the world's most incredible destinations, Hilton Hotels & Resorts makes travel within reach. The Hilton Passport Project is our way of helping more Americans unlock the power of travel and realize the benefits a passport can bring them—whether that's becoming more content with their lives or enjoying new experiences and opportunities."

To create a better understanding before launching the initiative, Hilton conducted a study of 1,000 travelers to explore the following themes: could getting a passport be a key to happiness? What motivates people to get a passport? Are most passports being used? What does having a passport say about someone’s personality? The findings from the study revealed three key developments from America’s current travelers—more than half of Americans with passports are content with their lives versus just over one-third of those who do not yet have passports; among respondents who have a passport and haven’t been abroad in the past 12 months, 18 percent have never used their passport; and six in 10 Americans are motivated to travel abroad, and 27 percent already have plans in place to use their passports.

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After conducting the survey, Hilton also launched a “Passport Personality Index,” categorizing travelers into a series of personalities—Globetrotters, Future Explorers, and Maybe Later International Travelers—determined through a number of personality traits, including motivation to travel, contentment with life, social media sharing habits, and the desire to see American before traveling abroad.

To help jump start the campaign, Hilton Hotels & Resorts is partnering with Zach Houghton, founder of Passion Passport, a community designed to connect travelers and potential travelers who are seeking new experiences. Houghton is teaming up with the hotel brand this fall to lead an event in New York City that will guide people through the process of getting a passport as well as educate them on new cultures and destinations from across the globe.

Approximately 41 percent of Americans have a valid U.S. passport, according to U.S. government statistics. Both Hilton and Passion Passport plan to increase that number together, and in turn, hopefully increase happiness within the U.S. The total findings from the study are outlined in a Hilton Blue Paper: The State of U.S. Passport Use, available online.


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