Dianne Newcomer | Monroe News-Star
As I closely followed the Ukraine-Russia crisis last Sunday, a poll of the Russian and Ukrainian citizenship caught my attention. The methodology and questions of the poll sounded so intriguing that it made me want to check out its feedback. The poll from a week ago concluded:
Twice as many Russians believe it would be right for Moscow to use military force to prevent Ukraine from joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as opposed to those who say it would be wrong. In explanation, the poll said that means one out of every two Russians (50%) says it would be right, while only 25% say it would be wrong. The other quarter (25%) are unsure.
Given a list of nine characteristics, both Russians and Ukrainians tended to agree on which ones best described Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky–but here there were also some notable differences. “Strong” and “decisive” were the second and third most popular answers describing Putin among both the Russians and the Ukrainians. Yet, the #1 word choice was radically different: Russians picked “clever” while the Ukrainians chose “dangerous” for Putin.
However, opinions divided sharply on President Joe Biden. Ukrainians’ most common descriptions of Biden were “clever,” “strong,” and “responsible.” The majority of Russians did not score Biden high on any of these characteristics. Instead, the poll showed half (47%) of the Russians labeled Biden as “dangerous,” but a third (32%) of Ukrainians did also.
Contrary to Western warnings that Russian President Vladimir Putin was putting military forces in place for an attack on the country’s western neighbor, only 13% of Russians think the Kremlin is likely to initiate military action towards Ukraine. Only 31% of Russians said an attack on Ukraine was likely. Surprisingly, this poll showed two out of three (65%) Russians expect a peaceful end to the tensions, while only 43% of Ukrainian expect that.
After watching our worst fears being played out in living color every moment of every day last week, I truly wondered if we should ever believe a poll ever again! Who ever did the pollsters interview to get such results? It makes me think we must learn to question the margin of error, the timing, and maybe go so far as to consider who pollsters are working for.
After all, for every poll taken, someone is paying for the time involved, crafting the questions, and presenting them to a selected group of available participants, who, of course, always agree to provide accurate answers. Yet, who knows? Even when asked to rate, from 1-5, how helpful a waiter or a company representative has been, I tend to oversell the interaction.
Likewise, I have never answered or been polled by a political survey,asked to participate in an exit voting poll, or quizzed about a current world situation like, supposedly happened to the people in the above poll. I am not casting dispersion on the process, but it does appear the credibility of any poll taken should be a consideration. How very easily truth could be manipulated to create a certain truth, encourage an opinion, or, in the infamous words of President Trump’s press secretary Kellyanne Conway used to say, “offer alternative facts.”
A poll is just a “a sampling or collection of opinions on a subject, taken from either a selected or a random group of persons for the purpose of analysis,” so, to influence you to get out there and enjoy our world, I decided to create a poll of my own. I thought helping you know where your friends and neighbors who are travelers of Monroe Travel Service would be vacationing this year might be inspiring and remind you to get on the bandwagon, too!
Now, unlike the Russian/Ukrainian poll results from above, my survey was subjective only in the sense that it reflects the opinion of a group of random travelers. My results are definitive–no chance of being misconstrued–because hard earned money has been paid which always means the heart is committed to the journey.
Here is what the survey of deposited trips at Monroe Travel Service breaks down for 2022 reveals:
25% Alaska is the #1 destination of choice with cruises being the preferred way to enjoy this Great Land, along with the domed train side trips into Denali National Park. The extension of the cruising season into early fall possibly explains why Alaska is our agency’s top seller.
20% USA and Canadian Rockies escorted tours are always top destination choices, but hassle-free, no worries, small group type vacationing is a preferred way to travel this year.
17% European river cruising — with the Rhine and Danube being the most selected rivers–earns the #3 spot for that long awaited post covid vacation. Plus it’s a safe and easy way to be well cared for while learning more about a beautiful corner of the world.
15% Beach vacations to resorts in Cancun, Cabo, and the beautiful Caribbean are always favorite escapes. There are so many great resorts to enjoy, but what is most unusual this year is how travelers are choosing to stay 7-10 days, not just 4-5 nights as in previous years.
12% This number seems really low, but Disneyworld’s new no mask policy announcement is sure to radically increase this percentage soon as summer vacation season closes in.
6% European ocean cruises, especially to the British Isles and the Med, will continue to climb as ships successfully handle covid. Hopefully, you can get onboard before airfares increase with this growing demand.
5% Independent travelers who choose a fly/drive or a private guided tour have made Ireland, Italy, and France their destination of choice for this type of journey. As covid rules continue to relax, we expect this number to grow, especially for travel this fall.
Despite the craziness going on in our world right now, this poll clearly shows our travelers are ready to go enjoy our world again. This is shaping up to be a busy year, another reason why it is so very important to make travel plans as soon as possible. After all, what a shame it would be to miss out on this week’s travel special to Alaska: a 7 day Inside Passage cruise to Alaska from Seattle on June 12 in a balcony cabin for $3026 per couple, based on availability.
Deals like that do not happen very often, but these are very different times. There is no need of a poll to remind us of that.
Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service. For help with your next vacation, please call Rob, Linda, Page or me at 318 323 3465 or email INFO@MONROETRAVEL.com. We would love to send you away!