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East Coast Travel Market Remains Strong Post-Sandy as New York is a Top Spot on Orbitz List of Most Popular Holiday Destinations

Orbitz survey reveals Americans are prepared to spend more on holiday travel in 2012

CHICAGO, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Holiday travelers will provide an economic boost to the New York region, with New York City ranking as a top destination for Christmas and New Year's according to new data released today by Orbitz (www.orbitz.com). The Orbitz Holiday Travel Insider Index analyzed hotel and flight booking data to rank the most popular holidays destinations for 2012 and the Big Apple came in second for both Christmas and New Year's, trailing only perennial family hotspot, Orlando.

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Overall airfare for Christmas is up 8% year-over-year, while travelers heading to New York for Christmas can expect to pay 5% more for airfare than last year—yet another indicator of the strong NYC travel market, according to the Orbitz Holiday Travel Insider Index. Slightly higher holiday travel prices may come as no surprise, according to a survey conducted jointly by Orbitz and American Express Publishing. 71% of survey respondents said they think the cost of travel has risen since 2011 but only 12% are planning to cut back on their holiday travel spending.

"The demand for holiday travel is clearly outpacing any effect of higher prices in some markets," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior travel editor for Orbitz.com.  "For many Americans, travel is now part of the holiday tradition, whether visiting family or treating themselves to a great getaway.  The convenience of shopping online makes it easier to find ways to save money like booking a less expensive destination or booking package deals that offer both great options and significant savings for travelers."

Orbitz 2012 Holiday Travel Insider Index
Orbitz has identified the top 10 destinations for the 2012 holiday travel season. The Orbitz Holiday Insider Index provides the top 10 holiday destinations for Christmas and New Year's, evaluating the average airfare and daily hotel rates in each of the most popular markets.  Key takeaways include:

  • Thanks in part to price drops, Orlando again takes the top spot. The family-friendly destination is seeing a 4% decrease in average airfare and 7% decrease in hotel stays over Christmas. Airfare prices are higher across the board during Christmas, with Orlando's average airfare $412 for Christmas as opposed to $291 for New Year's.
  • Four of the Top 10 destinations are offering hotel rates less than $150 a night on average over Christmas. San Juan is experiencing a 12% decrease in hotel daily rate, great for those seeking a warm weather getaway over the holidays.
  • Travelers looking to avoid the crowds over Christmas should plan to hit the road on Christmas or Christmas Eve. The busiest travel days this Christmas are Dec. 22, 23 and 26.
  • Those eager to retreat to warm weather destinations like Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or even Las Vegas to ring in the New Year are benefiting from varying year-over-year decreases in average hotel daily rates. 
  • Hotel stays in Orlando and Las Vegas are both down 8% compared to 2011, while daily hotel rates in other popular New Year's Eve getaways like Cancun and Los Angles have gone up by 17% and 14% respectively.

Top Christmas Destinations1

Rank

Destination

Hotel Avg. Daily Rate 2012

Hotel Avg. Daily Rate 2011

YOY Change

Avg. Airfare 2012

Avg. Airfare 2011

YOY change

1

Orlando

$144

$155

-7%

$412

$430

-4%

2

New York

$354

$322

10%

$406

$386

5%

3

Fort Lauderdale

$198

$204

-3%

$457

$403

13%

4

Denver

$127

$122

4%

$421

$342

23%

5

Los Angeles

$164

$149

10%

$518

$452

15%

6

Tampa

$108

$111

-2%

$401

$395

2%

7

Fort Myers

$159

$149

7%

$470

$461

2%

8

Cancun

$409

$362

13%

$716

$707

1%

9

San Juan

$236

$269

-12%

$660

$558

18%

10

Phoenix

$121

$105

15%

$407

$384

6%

1Top 10 Christmas travel destinations are based on Orbitz.com hotel bookings for travel from December 23 – 27, 2012

Top New Year's Destinations2

Rank

Destination

Hotel Avg. Daily Rate 2012

Hotel Avg. Daily Rate 2011

YOY Change

Avg. Airfare 2012

Avg. Airfare 2011

YOY Change

1

Orlando

$130

$140

-8%

$291

$317

-8%

2

New York

$435

$428

2%

$371

$381

2%

3

Las Vegas

$216

$233

-8%

$337

$323

-8%

4

Cancun

$349

$299

17%

$513

$546

17%

5

Fort Lauderdale

$209

$212

-1%

$318

$288

-1%

6

Los Angeles

$182

$160

14%

$488

$461

14%

7

Denver

$134

$152

-12%

$347

$291

-12%

8

San Juan

$222

$239

-7%

$494

$414

-7%

9

Maui (Island of Maui)

$373

$355

5%

$717

$603

5%

10

Fort Myers

$144

$134

8%

$290

$313

8%

2Top 10 New Year's destinations  are based on Orbitz.com hotel bookings for travel from between Dec. 30, 2012 and Jan. 2, 2013

Orbitz and American Express Publishing 2012 Holiday Travel Survey
According to the Orbitz and American Express Publishing survey, booking early (47%), traveling on off-peak days (43%) and staying with family instead of in a hotel (39%) are the top three ways respondents are saving on travel this holiday season. Other highlights from the survey, which polled more than 2,400 Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine readers between August 29, 2012 and September 4, 2012 about their holiday travel, include:

  • 68% plan to travel this holiday season
  • 89% are planning to spend as much (49%) if not more (40%) on holiday travel this year than they did in 2011
  • On average, respondents plan to spend $2,446 on their holiday travels, with nearly 70%  reporting that they are aiming to keep travel spending under $3,000
  • The struggle with unplugging while on vacation is evident—nearly half are planning to stay connected to the office while traveling for the holidays

About Orbitz.com
Orbitz.com is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and book an array of travel products and services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages. Since launching its website in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world and has led the industry with innovations including the Orbitz Matrix Display and Orbitz Price Assurance. The Matrix Display revolutionized the way the travel industry displayed fares and makes it quick and easy for consumers to compare flights, rental cars and vacation packages. Orbitz.com also offers "Insider Steals," a weekly, members-only flash sale that provides exclusive deals of 50% or more off of handpicked hotels in top destinations around the world as well as "Mobile Steals," exclusive hotel deals of up to 50% off in the most popular destinations around the world, available to mobile consumers via m.orbitz.com and the full suite of Orbitz mobile apps. On Orbitz.com consumers can search a broad range of suppliers worldwide. Orbitz.com is owned by Orbitz Worldwide. Stay connected to Orbitz.com with sale alerts, exclusive promotions and engaging conversations by following Orbitz on Facebook, Twitter and the Orbitz Travel Blog.

About Orbitz Worldwide
Orbitz Worldwide is a leading global online travel company that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo (www.ratestogo.com) and the Away Network (www.away.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Worldwide Distribution (corp.orbitz.com/partnerships/distribution) delivers private label travel solutions to a broad range of partners including many of the world's largest airlines, and Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed corporate travel solutions for corporations. For more information on partnership opportunities with Orbitz Worldwide, visit corp.orbitz.com.

Orbitz Worldwide uses its Investor Relations website to make information available to its investors and the public at investors.orbitz.com. The public can sign up to receive email alerts whenever the company posts new information to the website.

SOURCE Orbitz.com

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