HPU/N&R Poll: Most North Carolinians Plan Plenty of Vacation Travel This Year

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 1, 2015 – The latest High Point University/News & Record Poll finds that most North Carolinians – almost 80 percent – plan to go on vacation at least once this year.

When asked where in the state they would vacation, 76 percent of respondents selected two or more locations, indicating they may take multiple trips this year. Most said they would visit North Carolina beaches or mountains – 62 percent and 60 percent respectively – while 87 percent indicated that their vacation will take them out of state.

Charlotte and Raleigh will see about half of the survey respondents this year. When asked which North Carolina cities, other than the ones in which they live, they planned to visit this year – 51 percent responded with the Queen City (Charlotte) and the state capital. Wilmington and Asheville will see about 42 percent and 44 percent of vacationers this year, respectively. Thirty-nine percent indicated they’d visit Greensboro.

While almost all survey respondents (96 percent) indicated they would use a car to travel on at least one of their trips, respondents will also be traveling by plane (41 percent) and train (12 percent). Only 6 percent indicated using the bus for vacation travel. When traveling to their final destinations, the vast majority of North Carolinians (90 percent) will use one or two of the methods of transportation.

The poll asked those traveling by plane which airport they might use for at least some of their travel. Almost six in 10 (57 percent) indicated they would fly out of Raleigh-Durham airport at least once and about half (49 percent) indicated they would use the Charlotte-Douglas airport. Fully 22 percent indicated they would use the Piedmont Triad airport. Eight-five percent of respondents will be using one or two different airports for travel this year.

“The HPU Poll’s findings about travel figures thus far are not surprising. With warmer weather on the horizon, North Carolinians have made it clear that they are headed to either the mountains or the beach in 2015,” says Brian McDonald, assistant director of the HPU Poll.

All adults – Vacation and Travel (March 2015)

Have you been on vacation yet this year?

Yes – 26 percent
No – 74 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

Do you plan to go on vacation later this year?

Yes – 78 percent
No – 18 percent
(Don’t know) – 4 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

All adults – Travel Destination (March 2015)

I am going to list a series of places you might visit on vacation. Please tell me which are places where you already have or might vacation this year. (Note: only asked of those respondents who said they had taken or would take a vacation this year)

Yes No Don’t Know/ Refused
North Carolina beach 62% 37% 2%
North Carolina Piedmont 28% 70% 3%
North Carolina mountains 60% 37% 3%
Out of state 87% 12% 1%

I am going to list a series of places you might visit on vacation. Please tell me which are places where you already have or might vacation this year. (Note: only asked of those respondents who said they had taken or would take a vacation this year)

North Carolina beach

Yes – 62 percent
No – 37 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 2 percent

North Carolina Piedmont

Yes – 28 percent
No – 70 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 3 percent

North Carolina Mountains

Yes – 60 percent
No – 37 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 3 percent

Out of state

Yes – 87 percent
No – 12 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 464 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

All adults – N.C. Major City Travel Destination (March 2015)

Which of these North Carolina cities – in which you do not live – do you plan to visit this year? (Note: only asked of those respondents who said they had taken or would take a vacation this year)

Charlotte

Yes – 51 percent
No – 46 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 3 percent

Raleigh

Yes – 51 percent
No – 46 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 3 percent

Greensboro

Yes – 39 percent
No – 58 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 3 percent

Winston-Salem

Yes – 32 percent
No – 64 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 4 percent

Durham

Yes – 32 percent
No – 65 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 4 percent

High Point

Yes – 21 percent
No – 75 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 4 percent

Wilmington

Yes – 42 percent
No – 53 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 5 percent

Asheville

Yes – 44 percent
No – 50 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 6 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent) 

All adults – Vacation Travel Mode of Transportation (March 2015)

Which of these do you think you will use to travel on vacation? (Note: only asked of those respondents who said they had taken or would take a vacation this year)

Car

Yes – 96 percent
No – 4 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – less than 1 percent

Plane

Yes – 41 percent
No – 57 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 2 percent

Train

Yes – 12 percent
No – 86 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 2 percent

Bus

Yes – 6 percent
No – 93 percent
(Don’t know/refused) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 464 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

Which of these airports do you plan to use? (Note: only asked of those vacationers traveling by plane)

Yes No Don’t know/Refused
Charlotte-Douglas 49% 48% 2%
Raleigh-Durham 57% 41% 2%
Piedmont Triad (Greensboro) 22% 76% 1%
Wilmington 6% 94% *
Fayetteville 4% 96% *
Asheville 6% 93% 1%

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 191 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 7.1 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on March 21 – March 26, 2015. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 574 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.1 percentage points for all adult respondents. The data are weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race.  In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2015/03/37memoB.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.

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