With most people now owning a mobile phone or a laptop, long gone are the days of needing anything more than an internet connection to get in touch with your family or friends. But for those who grew up with postcards being as big a part of international travel as passports, foreign currency and travel insurance, the tradition of sending a message home is filled with feelings of nostalgia.
We found out how many of us are still sending postcards to our loved ones in 2023 and, more importantly, how many of us want it to be a more regular occurrence. After discovering that most people would like more of us to send postcards, we enlisted the help of AI to design some brand-new travel-based postage stamps and encourage a resurgence of this dying art.
So, who still sends postcards in 2023?
39% of people we surveyed revealed that they never send postcards when they’re travelling, while 21% admitted that while they used to send postcards to their loved ones, they don’t do it anymore. Only 18% of the population still send a postcard home every time they go away.
Is it a generational thing? Interestingly, it’s not the older generations, who grew up using analogue forms of communication, that are still holding onto the tradition. It’s actually millennials who send the most postcards, while those aged 78+send the least. 53% of millennials said they do send postcards when they travel, followed by Gen Z (16-26 years old), 47% of whom send postcards while away, and then Gen X (43-58 years old), 34% of whom still send postcards.
When we asked about their reasoning for doing so, the top motivator was because it’s a family tradition or a personal habit, followed by staying connected with loved ones and sharing travel experiences.
While 60% of the population never sends postcards to their loved ones, a massive 41% of us said that we would like to receive them more often, citing ‘happy’, ‘remembered’, and ‘loved’ as emotions most frequently experienced upon receiving one.
We asked AI to design new stamps for the top 10 most visited countries worldwide
With so few of us still sending postcards (just 18% doing it every time they go away) but so many of us wishing we received more (41% of the population), we decided to design a unique set of new postage stamps to encourage more of us to consider posting something from their travels next time they are away.
We took the top 10 most visited countries worldwide and asked travellers from around the world to describe all the things that came to mind when they thought back to trips they’d taken to any of the destinations. After feeding the information to AI, beautiful new postage stamps were created – scroll down to view them all.
France – 117.1 million visitors
What comes to mind when people think back to their French holidays? Among things like the Tour de France and the Moulin Rouge, there was a plethora of food and drink. People remembered sprawling vineyards, picnics in front of the Eiffel Tower, baguettes, soft cheeses, and red wine. Our AI software took the information and produced a new postage stamp focusing on France’s most iconic piece of architecture and a bottle of the quintessential vin rouge (red wine).
Mexico – 51.1 million visitors
Travellers to Mexico fondly remember cenotes, sandy beaches, and Mayan ruins, along with tacos, salsa, and ripe fruits. AI’s interpretation of the information gave us this delicious-looking meal, set against a backdrop of cacti. Not only are cacti culturally and historically significant in Mexico, but they’re a staple of the cuisine, which is perhaps why AI decided to incorporate some into the image.
United States of America – 45 million visitors
Sports are a key part of American culture, so it’s no surprise there is a strong sporting theme to the AI’s take on the US stamp. The design also incorporates the country’s famous flag, made up of stars and stripes and sometimes referred to as the ‘star-spangled banner’.
Italy – 38.4 million visitors
This AI stamp creation takes you instantly to a warm Tuscan night in Italy with a glass of local wine in your hand. The rolling hills, red rooftops, and background of mountains sum up the popular tourist destination perfectly.
Spain – 36.4 million visitors
If you’ve ever visited Spain, you’ll know that their cuisine is some of the best in the world, from delicate tapas to fresh seafood. It’s these gastronomical delights that feature in this creative take on a Spanish stamp, with vibrant colours that remind you of balmy Spanish summer days.
Hungary – 31.6 million visitors
This pretty new take on a Hungarian stamp seems to be in reference to both Hungary’s ornate and historic architecture and Budapest’s traditional thermal spa – Széchenyi Thermal Bath. This is a great reflection of the country itself, which is perfect for design and relaxation lovers alike.
China – 30.4 million visitors
The extremely rare giant panda makes up the main focus of the new take on a Chinese stamp, which is perhaps unsurprising considering how synonymous it is with the Asian country. To add to the charm, the stamp also features bamboo and a cup of Chinese tea.
Croatia – 21.6 million visitors
Croatia’s landscape takes centre stage in its AI stamp, with waterfalls reminiscent of Skradinski Buk Waterfall in Krka National Park or Berberov Buk near Zadar being the main focus of the design. These waterfalls are must-see places if visiting the country, with beautiful hikes that can be incorporated into the sight-seeing.
Turkey – 16 million visitors
Although Turkey is well-known as a summer beach destination, the AI’s interpretation of the country shows a fascinatingly different side. The stamp has clearly been inspired by the famous Instagram photo of hot air balloons in rugged Cappadocia in central Turkey. This world heritage site is well-known for its hot air balloon tours, which look equally impressive if you just watch them from the ground.
Denmark – 15.6 million visitors
A nod to one of Denmark’s most famous landmarks is present in this stamp, Copenhagen’s The Little Mermaid statue, which itself was inspired by the book by the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson. The AI’s interpretation of the country also features some distinct Danish architecture, but also some more unusual flying fish. Although you won’t find flying fish in Denmark, you will find a thriving fishing industry, which may be what is being artistically depicted.
InsureandGo partnered with Censuswide to survey 1,500 people who travel, in order to discover their postcard habits. We also conducted a survey with a small sample group of people, asking them to list everything they think is quintessential of a country they’ve previously visited.
We referred to https://www.worlddata.info/tourism.php to find the top 10 most visited countries, and utilised ChatGPT and Mid Journey AI software to create the new postage stamps using the information obtained from the sample group.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.