In a study of 2002 Winter holiday travel trends, Travelocity finds that travelers are staying closer to home this season. In addition to North America, travel to Central America, South America and the Caribbean show the greatest increase in popularity this year.
Latin American and Caribbean countries in particular have gained ground in popularity this year among Travelocity holiday bookers. Destinations that saw the most growth in interest include Lima, Peru; San Salvador, El Salvador; Kingston, Jamaica; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Aruba; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Mexico saw a surge in popularity in 2001, and continues to be a hot spot in 2002.
“While most people still visit family and friends over the holidays, it is interesting to note that more exotic vacation destinations such as Peru, Argentina and Tortola have increased their overall share of bookings significantly,” said Amy Ziff, Travelocity`s Editor-at-Large. “New York is still number one, leading the pack of traditional big-city destinations such as Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.”
Domestically, air travel to the nation`s large cities is on the rebound. Travelocity bookings for the Winter holiday show:
New York City, which saw a decrease in popularity in 2001, remains the most popular destination for flights, with its overall share of bookings up 25 percent over 2001 and 13 percent over 2000.
Denver is the second most popular destination, with ski season in high gear, moving up from fifth place last year, with its share of bookings up 27 percent over 2001 and 31 percent over 2000.
Los Angeles is the third most popular destination, with its share of bookings staying approximately the same as 2001. Travel to Los Angeles is still slightly down from 2000—by 8 percent.—San Francisco is fourth on the list and its share of bookings has remained constant in 2001 and 2002.
Chicago rounds out the top five most popular destinations with its share of bookings up 10 percent over 2001 - a return to 2000 levels.
Looking overseas, despite lower fares to Europe and Asia, the study indicated that fewer people are booking trips there this Winter holiday. Germany, France and Switzerland have seen their share of trips decline. Asian countries less popular this year include Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.
Of the top 10 international destination cities for the Winter holiday 2002, San Juan, Vancouver, Calgary and Cancun saw the share of their bookings increase over 2001. The remaining top 10 international cities, including London, Paris, and Rome, saw their share of tickets decline.
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(11/06/2002) Travelocity.com Poll Says `Vacationers Traveling More`
(04/03/2002) Travelocity.com Survey Ranks Top Destinations