Orbitz Launches Campaign to End U.S. Travel Ban to Cuba
Orbitz Worldwide, Inc.
CHICAGO, IL UNITED STATES
New Orbitz-Ipsos Poll Finds that 67% of Americans Favor Allowing All Americans to Travel to Cuba
72% Feel Expanding U.S. Travel to Cuba Would Positively Impact the Lives of the Cuban People
CHICAGO, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbitz (www.orbitz.com) and Ipsos (www.ipsos.com) today released a public opinion survey showing that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor ending the U.S. Government's 50-year ban on travel to Cuba. Orbitz today also announced the launch of the "OpenCuba.org" campaign (www.OpenCuba.org), which is designed to give Americans the opportunity to petition the U.S. Government to open up travel to Cuba.
"President Obama recently took a bold step in easing travel restrictions for Cuban-Americans," said Barney Harford, president and CEO of Orbitz Worldwide. "The OpenCuba.org campaign calls on the President and Congress to take action to end the travel ban to Cuba, giving all Americans the freedom to visit what once was a premier tourist destination for U.S. citizens."
"Our mission at Orbitz is to help travelers experience the world," continued Harford. "67% of Americans would also support a policy that would allow U.S. travel agents such as Orbitz to book vacation travel to Cuba."
The OpenCuba.org website (www.OpenCuba.org) gives travelers the opportunity to get directly involved in a grassroots effort to convince American legislators and regulators to end the ban on travel to Cuba. As a focus of the campaign, travelers will be asked to sign a petition calling for an end to the travel ban. Orbitz executives will formally present the petition to U.S. officials in Washington, DC, later this year.
Every person who signs the petition will receive a $100 coupon redeemable on Orbitz against a vacation to Cuba valid if and when the U.S. Government removes the ban on travel to Cuba, and as soon as Orbitz is able to offer such travel on its website.
The OpenCuba.org website also lets Americans write personal letters to President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton and members of the U.S. Congress regarding the Cuba travel ban.
According to the Orbitz-Ipsos Poll:
* 67% of Americans say that they would support a policy that would allow all Americans to travel to Cuba.
* 32% of Americans would strongly support such a policy that would allow all Americans to travel to Cuba.
* Only 23% say that they would oppose lifting these restrictions for Americans traveling to Cuba (only 13% would strongly oppose it).
* 72% agree that expanding travel and tourism from the U.S. to Cuba would have a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of the Cuban people.
* Just 20% feel that allowing Americans to travel to Cuba would not positively impact Cubans in this way.
Other key points include:
* 67% of Americans would support a policy that would allow travel agents to book vacation travel to Cuba, mirroring the level of support for lifting the travel ban.
* Similarly, 63% of Americans agree that it should be legal for online travel sites, such as Orbitz.com, to book travel to Cuba.
* 64% of Americans say that Orbitz.com should play an active role to persuade elected officials to give all Americans the freedom to travel to Cuba.
METHODOLOGY: The Orbitz-Ipsos poll was conducted from April 23-27th, 2009. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S. was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos' U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Orbitz.com (www.orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and book a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world. On Orbitz.com consumers can search more than 80,000 suppliers worldwide including airlines, hotels and car rental companies. Orbitz.com is owned by Orbitz Worldwide (corp.orbitz.com).
About Orbitz Worldwide
Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) is a leading global online travel company that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo (www.ratestogo.com), the Away Network (www.away.com), and corporate travel brand Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com). For more information on partnership opportunities with Orbitz Worldwide, visit corp.orbitz.com. Orbitz Worldwide uses its Investor Relations website to make information available to its investors and the public at http://www.orbitz-ir.com. You can sign up to receive email alerts whenever the company posts new information to the website.
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.
They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2008, Ipsos generated global revenues of euro 979.3 million ($1.34 billion U.S.). Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.