Cheapflights has analysed the number of clicks that were made by users searching for flight deals to London in July 2006 and 2007 on its US site www.cheapflights.com. Whilst the Cheapflights.com’s July 2007 traffic numbers have grown strongly over July 2006, both overall and for London, the city’s much lower destination ranking demonstrates the dramatic effect the dollar’s weakness has had on US air travel to the UK.
In July 2006 London was ranked the 7th most popular destination for which deals were sought on Cheapflights US site. In July 2007, that ranking dropped sharply out of the top ten destinations to number 15. This follows the US dollar’s significant decline against the Pound year on year. According to the US Federal Reserve’s monthly average exchange rate for July 2006 the Dollar stood at 1.8433: In July 2007, the average exchange rate was 2.0355 which has clearly deterred potential US tourists from coming to the UK.
Normally the top main destinations sought by Cheapflights’ US users are seasonally stable with little variation. Predictably these are the leisure destinations of Las Vegas (1), Orlando (2) and Atlanta (6) and the business destinations of New York (3), Chicago (4), and Los Angeles (6). London’s drop from its normal 7th position to 15th is very unusual and likely linked to the increased expense of travel driven by rising exchange rates against the Dollar.
Commenting, Chris Cuddy, Cheapflights’ Group Managing Director said:
“Cheapflights’ record traffic last year reflects the fact that travellers are able find and compare more flights deals from more flights providers than anywhere else on the web. When our users search for cheap flight deals, tourist destinations are a major component as our table shows. London is a perennial favourite destination for US citizens; however the unfavourable exchange rate has made the UK an expensive choice as the current comparative rankings clearly show!”
Francesca Ecsery, General Manager, Cheapflights.co.uk added:
“For our UK users, New York is consistently the number one destination searched for on our UK site, Cheapflights.co.uk. With the cheap Dollar, it is therefore not surprising that the Dollar’s weakness has caused a 38% surge in traffic searching for deals to America’s first city compared to July 2006 a year ago. Similarly the Pound’s relative strength against the Euro has seen interest by price sensitive Brits for flights to Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife up from a year ago by between 50 and 60%.”