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Americans Prefer Amusement Parks Over National Parks, Study Reveals

Travelers Today       By    Chiqui Guyjoco

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 06:44 AM EDT

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - OCTOBER 01: Walt Disney World Resort marked its 45th anniversary on October 1, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
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Americans prefer to have fun in an amusement park to sweating it out in a national park. That's according to a recent study that revealed some shocking facts about Americans' travel history and habits.

With summer almost at hand, it's only natural to expect that Americans are already drawing up plans to hit the beach or hike on the trails of a popular national park. Motel 6, a U.S. leader in economy lodging, proved that reality doesn't always align with expectations. It recently conducted a national study that revealed Americans would rather go to an amusement park than a national park.

Almost 50 percent of the American respondents said that their top priorities are outdoor activities and adventure. One would expect that a national park would fit the criteria more than an amusement park would. Yet the study by Motel 6 revealed that 25 million Americans have yet to see an ocean while almost 32 million said they've never set foot yet to a major U.S. city. About 48 percent or nearly half of Americans claimed they've so far only visited 10 U.S. states at most.

The White House doesn't seem like a favorite destination. Half of the surveyed Americans said they have yet to visit the official residence of the U.S. president. The top three states Americans dream of visiting next include the Aloha state or Hawaii with 14 percent votes, The Sunshine State or Florida with 11 percent and The Golden State or California at 10 percent. These states both have amusement parks and national parks that boost tourism.

The U.S. has 400 national parks and more than 400 amusement parks. According to the 2011 Amusement Park State of the Industry survey conducted by IAAPA, 25 percent of Americans surveyed has been to an amusement park in the past year with 43 percent more who planned to visit in the coming months. These attractions boost the corresponding year's economy to about $55.4 billion.

To satiate the American people's wanderlust, Motel 6 is holding the "Motel 6 55 Years Anniversary Travel Sweepstakes" online from April 18 to May 16. Six winners will enjoy $2,500 worth of gift cards for travel expenses and a three-night stay at Motel 6. They can also choose destinations including an amusement park, a national park and more.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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