Hilton Hotels & Resorts Uncovers Passport Holders More Likely To Be Content With Their Lives

Hilton Passport Project Kicks Off, Highlights Benefits of Having a Passport and Encourages Travelers to Get Out and Experience the World

MCLEAN, Va. – Approximately 41 percent of Americans have a valid U.S. passport1, and it turns out, that’s a good thing. Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton (NYSE: HLT), has uncovered that Americans with passports are more likely to be content with their lives than those who do not have passports. Based on this finding, Hilton Hotels & Resorts is launching the Hilton Passport Project to put more passports in the hands of Americans to help them realize the power of travel.

Uncovering Consumer Insights
A key component of the Hilton Passport Project is better understanding the mindset of Americans when it comes to international travel and putting their passports to use. To do this, Hilton conducted a study2 of 1,000 travelers to explore: 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 themes about American travelers today:

  • Turns out, having a passport is in fact good for you – More than half (53%) of Americans with passports are content with their lives versus just over a third (34%) of those who do not yet have passports.
  • Passports could be used more, and there are now more opportunities to do so – Among respondents who have a passport (but haven’t been abroad in the past 12 months), 18 percent have never used their passport.
  • People are motivated to get out and unlock their world – Six in 10 Americans are motivated to travel abroad and 27 percent already have plans in place to use their passport.

In addition to these key themes, the findings allowed Hilton to create a “Passport Personality Index,” which categorizes travelers into a series of personalities – Globetrotters, Future Explorers and “Maybe Later” International Travelers – distinguishable by key traits such as their motivation to travel, contentment with life, social media sharing habits and even desire to first see all America has to offer before heading abroad. The compelling findings from the study are outlined in a Hilton Blue Paper: The State of U.S. Passport Use, available online here.

“For nearly 100 years, we’ve witnessed the profound impact travel has on the lives of our guests,” said 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.”

Putting Passports in Hand
To bring the research to life and motivate travelers to pursue that next stamp in their passport, Hilton Hotels & Resorts is partnering with Zach Houghton, founder of Passion Passport. A core mission for Houghton – and the Passion Passport community – is to connect travelers and potential travelers who are seeking new experiences and perspectives. Houghton will team up with Hilton Hotels & Resorts to invite his followers to a live event in New York City this fall, which will guide people through the process of getting a passport, immerse them in cultures and destinations from across the world and give them a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to one of those destinations.

Beyond New York, Hilton will be facilitating the passport application process by setting up Passport Project activations at select hotels and locations later this year. Visitors will be able to take their passport photo and receive all the information and materials they need to apply for one – as well as engage with interactive experiences that will whet their appetite for global travel.

Additionally, highly immersive digital videos, billboard installations and terminal takeovers with creative from the brand’s newest campaign, “The World Is Right Here,” will continue to roll out at some of the country’s busiest airports in cities including Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. The campaign illustrates the value of travel and empowers consumers to travel more – passports in hand – and experience the world around them.

For additional information on the Hilton Passport Project and the Passport Personality Index, resources available to help consumers obtain passports and some destination inspiration, visit news.hilton.com/passportproject or follow along on social via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/hilton), Instagram (@hiltonhotels) and Twitter (@hiltonhotels) using hashtag #PassportProject.

1 https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/statistics.html  
Hilton Hotels & Resorts commissioned a 15-minute, online survey among a nationally-representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18+ that have traveled within and/or outside of the U.S. in the past 12 months. The margin of error for this sample is +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level. The survey was fielded by Edelman Intelligence between May 30 and June 6, 2017. 


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