An economy in the clouds: air travelers' $400.5 billion economic contribution
Air travelers have built a soaring economy in the sky worth $400.5 billion, with more than $1.26 billion being added every day, according to new research from HSBC.
In a recent market research study, HSBC looked at a selection of recent travelers to find insights about the 11.9 million people flying around the world each day and reimagined them as a country in the sky. Naturally named "Flyland," this is the 25th largest economy in the world and a study of its economics and demographics paints a telling picture of modern global citizens.
The typical citizen of Flyland takes an average of four-and-a-half flights each year, spending 30 hours in the air. Some of the most interesting things HSBC learned about the citizens of Flyland were how they make connections in the air.
Almost half (47 percent) of air travelers have started a conversation with the stranger next to them; 12 percent have made a lasting friendship on a flight; and 13 percent have made a strong business connection.
The people of Flyland are overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of travel, with the research finding that travel really does broaden the mind. More than eight in 10 air travelers (83 percent) believe they now understand the world better; with 67 percent claiming to be more tolerant; and 63 percent more patient as a result of travel.
And there are personal benefits, too, with feeling more independent (77 percent) and more confident (73 percent) topping the list.
Like any country, Flyland has its share of social expectations and annoyances. Specifically, Americans of Flyland said letting children kick their seat (65 percent) is the biggest taboo; followed by letting children run riot (59 percent); being rude to flight attendants (56 percent); while taking smelly shoes off (45 percent) and hogging the armrest is just as big a concern as people who drink too much (44 percent).
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