Expedia Survey Reveals Attitudes About National Parks

Poll shows Americans favor Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, agree national parks are valuable features of the U.S. By: Michelle Juergen
An Expedia survey shows that Yellowstone is respondents’ favorite national park. // © 2016 iStock
An Expedia survey shows that Yellowstone is respondents’ favorite national park. // © 2016 iStock

The Details


Expedia.com has released the results of “Expedia National Parks Index,” a survey of 1,039 adults that gauges American attitudes about U.S. national parks. The poll showed that respondents consider Yellowstone their favorite national park and that they find the Grand Canyon the most beautiful national park, among other findings.

Why It Matters:
Seventy-six percent of respondents strongly agree that the national parks are a “valuable and beautiful” feature of the U.S. With the National Park Service celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, now is a great time for travel agents to capitalize on that love of the outdoors. Thanks to the availability of national parks trips for all skill levels, ages and interests, it’s easier than ever to convince clients to explore their own backyard. 

Fast Facts:
- About 50 percent of respondents say they have visited a national park; 38 percent have been to a national park in the past five years, and 32 percent have been to one in the past year.

- Yellowstone National Park was cited as respondents’ favorite national park (27 percent), followed by Grand Canyon National Park (20 percent), Great Smoky Mountains National Park (18 percent), Rocky Mountain National Park (16 percent) and Yosemite National Park (10 percent).

- Those polled consider Grand Canyon the most beautiful national park (25 percent), followed by Yellowstone (21 percent), Yosemite (20 percent), Great Smoky Mountains (12 percent) and Rocky Mountain (9 percent) national parks.

- Respondents were asked which modern American presidents they would include on Mount Rushmore. Answers included Franklin D. Roosevelt (29 percent), John F. Kennedy (21 percent), Ronald Reagan (19 percent), Barack Obama (9 percent) and Dwight Eisenhower (8 percent).

- When asked which famous person (not a former president) they would include on Mount Rushmore, those surveyed noted Martin Luther King, Jr. (11 percent), Benjamin Franklin (7 percent), Albert Einstein (3 percent), Jesus Christ (2 percent) and Donald Trump (2 percent).

- When asked which national parks landscape, monument or feature they would “most like to take a selfie in front of,” those surveyed selected Mount Rushmore (30 percent), the Grand Canyon (25 percent), Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser (18 percent), the Lincoln Memorial (13 percent) and the Great Smoky Mountains (7 percent).

What They Are Saying:
“The U.S. national parks are one of the most breathtaking features of the American landscape,” 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.”