Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For May 06, 2012

Ranks of family and multigenerational travel, river cruises, active or adventure trips, luxury cruises, and celebration travel on the list of the five biggest travel trends emerging for 2012, according to Virtuoso: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Italy, France, South Africa, Australia and England on the list of the five most popular international destinations for travelers in 2012: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Virtuoso.

Ranks of grocery shopping, household chores and cooking on the list of areas where men believe their role has increased over the last five years, according to a survey from Planters: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of exercise, eating home-cooked meals and choosing healthier snacks on the list of areas where men have taken steps to stay healthier over the last five years: 1, 2, 3

Source: Kraft Foods.

Percentage of all Americans who predict they will spend less than four hours total on this year's spring cleaning, according to the Stanley Steemer Spring Cleaning survey conducted by Kelton: 50

Percentage who say they will spend less than one hour or no time at all: 18

Source: Kelton Research.

Year that President Nixon signed a bill into law prohibiting cigarette advertising on the nation's airwaves, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1970

Estimated percentage of Americans who currently smoke: 20

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage fall in overall beer consumption in the U.S. last year, according to the Beverage Information Group's Handbook Advance 2012: 1.5

Percentage growth in spirits: 2.6

Source: Beverage Information Group.

When asked what one item they can't live without during travel, percentage of respondents who said a good book or e-reader is a must-have, according to a survey conducted for HomeAway: 24

Percentage who said they need the comfort of their favorite pillow: 18

Source: Home Away.

Ranks of Boston ($194), New York ($172), Philadelphia ($154), Washington, D.C. ($145) and New Orleans ($117) on the list of the most expensive cities for travelers to secure the cheapest available double room located in or very close to the city's center or its main attractions, according to CheapHotels.org: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Orlando ($33), Las Vegas ($36), Anaheim ($45), Myrtle Beach ($51) and Atlanta ($52) on the list of the least expensive cities: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Cheaphotels.org.

Percentage of professionals who said their employers viewed international experience as important or very important, according to research commissioned by global specialist recruiter Hydrogen Group and conducted by ESCP: 72

Percentage of 2012 respondents who would at least consider relocating overseas, are currently considering it or have already relocated, recognizing international experience as a key factor in career success: 94

Source: Hydrogen Group.

Percentage of women in America who have used intimacy enhancement products, according to research conducted by Masque Sexual Flavors: 44

Percentage of these women who were in a committed relationship: 78

Source: Masque Sexual Flavors.

Percentage of respondents who report that they always proactively take steps to green their home or lifestyle, such as recycling, driving energy-efficient vehicles, weatherizing their home, using eco-friendly products, etc., according to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of RetailMeNot.com: 25

Percentage of respondents who say that they are more inclined to buy a product if it is environmentally friendly: 46

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs RS.

Idle Thought

"If what you are getting online is for free, you are not the customer, you are the product." -- Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet law

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)