Expedia National Parks Index reveals Americans would choose to add the face of Martin Luther King, Jr. to Mount Rushmore if they were permitted to select a non-president. Survey also indicates Yellowstone and Grand Canyon are favorite parks
BELLEVUE, Wash., April 13, 2016 – 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of America’s National Park System. To commemorate the centennial, Expedia.com® commissioned a study of American attitudes toward the national parks. The Expedia® National Parks Index features responses from Americans across a range of topics, including how recently they had visited a national park, which features they preferred, and which American president they would choose to add to Mount Rushmore, if given the chance.
Expedia.com conducted the National Parks Index using Google Consumer Surveys, a Google service that enables polling of a demographically representative sample of Americans online. The study was conducted from February 26-29, and included responses from 1,039 American adults.
“The U.S. national parks are one of the most breathtaking features of the American landscape. The new IMAX 3D film, National Parks Adventure, does a stunning job of showcasing why our national parks are such a draw, and Expedia was honored to help sponsor it,” said John Morrey, vice president and general manager of Expedia.com. “The national parks have become a prominent destination for international tourists as well, particularly Europeans, and there is no better time to support them than now. Children in particular will form memories that will last a lifetime.”
New faces on Mount Rushmore
Americans were presented with a range of modern American presidents and asked to select the one they would choose to add to Mount Rushmore, alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the runaway winner, chosen by 29 percent of Americans. FDR edged John F. Kennedy (21 percent) and Ronald Reagan (19 percent) for the honor. The selectees, in order, include:
- Franklin D. Roosevelt 29%
- John F. Kennedy 21%
- Ronald Reagan 19%
- Barack Obama 9%
- Dwight Eisenhower 8%
- Harry S. Truman 5%
- William Clinton 4%
- George H.W. Bush 3%
- George W. Bush 2%
Americans also were given the option of writing in the name of a famous personage – not a president – who they would like to see added to the monument. The most common recommendation was Martin Luther King, Jr., who was named by 11 percent of Americans. The top five non-presidential Mount Rushmore nominees include:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. 11%
- Benjamin Franklin 7%
- Albert Einstein 3%
- Jesus Christ 2%
- Donald Trump 2%
Mickey Mouse ranked sixth, and Beyoncé came in eighth.
People love parks
Overall, 76 percent of respondents to the Expedia® National Parks Index said they “strongly agree” that the national parks are a “valuable and beautiful” feature of the United States. About 50 percent of Americans have visited a national park, 38 percent of Americans have been to a national park in the past five years, and 32 percent have been to one in the past year.
Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are favorites
When asked which national park they consider to be their favorite, Yellowstone won the honor, cited by 27 percent of Americans. The Grand Canyon came in second, cited by 20 percent of Americans. The top five favorite American national parks are:
- Yellowstone 27%
- Grand Canyon 20%
- Great Smoky Mountains 18%
- Rocky Mountain 16%
- Yosemite 10%
When asked to name the “most beautiful” national park, the same five parks were cited, only in a different order.
- Grand Canyon 25%
- Yellowstone 21%
- Yosemite 20%
- Great Smoky Mountains 12%
- Rocky Mountain 9%
When asked which national parks landscape, monument, or feature Americans would “most like to take a selfie in front of,” the top five selections were:
- Mount Rushmore 30%
- Grand Canyon 25%
- Old Faithful 18%
- Lincoln Memorial 13%
- Great Smoky Mountains 7%
Expedia.com® is one of the world’s largest full service travel sites, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (https://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, cheap tickets, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps. With the Expedia® Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.
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