NYC Reclaims Top Spot for U.S. Tourism as Winter Holidays Near
(Bloomberg) -- New York City has reclaimed its spot as the No. 1 travel destination for U.S. tourists—at least when it comes to the upcoming winter holiday season. In surveys from multiple online travel agencies, it consistently ranks as the most-booked domestic destination for U.S. and international travelers between Thanksgiving and New Years. For a city whose $80.3 billion tourism industry has been largely on pause, that’s incredibly good news.
According to Tripadvisor’s Winter Travel Index, more than 55% of Americans plan to travel this holiday season, with New York, Orlando, and Las Vegas ranking as their top three destinations. The total number of holiday travelers represents a 50% increase from last year, but still trails behind the 63% of Americans who traveled in the winter of 2019.
This year, however, holiday-goers will be joined with international arrivals as the U.S. border reopens on Nov. 8. And those numbers may not yet be final; of Americans who expressed an intent to travel during the upcoming holiday season, nearly three-quarters had yet to book their trips.
Data from both TripAdvisor and Allianz Travel Insurance, which analyzed 2 million wintertime itineraries, show that roughly 94% of U.S. travelers plan to remain domestic this year; on Allianz’s list, New York was followed by Seattle and Boston as popular holiday spots. More than a third of those surveyed said they plan to travel somewhere new like Cancun, which ranked as the most popular international destination for the upcoming season.
Americans aren’t the only ones being polled. According to the online travel agency Hopper, international flight searches to the U.S. have spiked 338% since the Biden administration announced its border reopening plan in September—with New York, Miami, and Los Angeles representing the most-booked routes. Inbound airfare prices to the city average $629 round trip—down 9% from 2019 prices—but the company predicts that prices will increase to $755 by December.
In other words, book now. There’s no telling whether it will be a white Christmas in New York, but it will certainly be a busy one.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.