Hilton Hotels & Resorts announced a new program that will make applying for a passport easy and rewarding. New Passport Project events at properties across the country and one airport yet to be determined will be one-stop shops for passport photos and help with the application process. At an event in New York City this fall, attendees will have the chance to immerse themselves in cultures and destinations from around the world and enter to win a trip to one of the featured destinations.
The initiative comes on the heels of a survey Hilton conducted that found the following:
Some 41 percent of Americans have a valid U.S. Passport. The number of U.S. passports issued has been increasing each year since 2001 with more than 18.6 million issued in 2016 alone, according to the U.S. Department of State.
Passport holders report higher satisfaction levels. Growing the number of people who hold passports could improve lives as more than half (53 percent) of those with a passport who were surveyed said they are content with their lives compared to 34 percent without a passport who said the same thing.
Passport holders take pride in their travels. 57 percent of passport holders say stamps from far-away—and not so far away—places are a “badge of honor.” More than half of recent international travelers reported that they have opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have if they hadn’t traveled and that they embrace a deeper understanding of the world at large because of their journeys. Another 44 percent even said they would think twice before dating or marrying someone without a passport.
Passports aren’t just for gate agents any more. Hilton also surveyed those who have a passport, but have not used it in the last 12 months, and made some surprising discoveries. 18 percent have never used their passport. A majority of those with unstamped documents said they had it just in case and a quarter said they used it for identification purposes. This could become more common. By 2020 even domestic travelers will need REAL ID-compliant licenses or a passport. In some states, this requirement will be put in place earlier than that.
Whether the 60 percent of people who do not yet have a passport use this opportunity to get one because of a desire to see other cultures (52 percent), career advancement (15 percent) or because they want to visit the scene of their favorite television show (17 percent), Hilton is making it easier than ever.