The holiday travel season is upon us. One of the most popular traveling seasons of the year, December 2014 saw a staggering 70,200,000 people board planes in Canada and the United States. This number promises to grow year over year as the total enplanement rate rose by 2.5 per cent from 2013 to 2014 and grew the years prior by 1.4 per cent overall. While we have historical data for previous years, we can only count on early reports to gauge data for the 2015 holiday travel season. FlightHub, a Canadian-based online travel agency, and their CEO Matt Keezer have released their projected December and January bookings.
While traditional holiday destinations dominated the standings, we have chose to focus on flights to the American southwest. This is due to the fact that Winter months more or less restrict outdoor adventure to the South. The Southwest features some the stunning outdoor locales combined with unique urban destinations. With that in mind we chose three destinations that both performed well on FlightHub’s holiday list and offered a unique blend of adventure and relaxation.
1 – Phoenix, Arizona
First up is Phoenix, Arizona. This Arizona city is home to many snowbirds who travel, and in some cases move for months at a time, to the southwest to escape the harsh winters of the Northern United States and Canada. Phoenix accounted for 1.71 per cent of all of FlightHub’s holiday bookings and was the highest trafficked southwestern destination by a healthy margin, outpacing the second place American city by about 70%. For the sake of context, the top global destination, London, UK, accounted for 7.50 per cent of all bookings.
2 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City. One doesn’t need to look too far to see why people routinely visit Las Vegas, Nevada. Home to some of the world’s largest casinos and entertainment complexes, Las Vegas draws people looking for just about anything. Whether it be gambling, concerts, or the near-desert like climate, Las Vegas has something for everyone making it no surprise it accounted for 1 per cent of all FlightHub’s bookings for the holiday season.
3 – Houston, Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, including their percentage of total bookings with FlightHub. Houston, which is a major hub for all travel in Texas, accounted for 0.72 per cent of all holiday bookings, placing it ahead of other major US cities like Chicago, Illinois and Washington D.C. While the Southwest had a major showing in terms of top American destinations this Holiday, they weren’t alone. Rounding out the top five US destinations overall are Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, and the aforementioned Phoenix. FlightHub CEO Matt Keezer says American travel is very popular amongst both Americans and Canadians saying “six of our top 25 destinations were in the United States,” adding “this comes as no surprise due to the fact Americans not only travel frequently, but they also tend to travel domestically.” Likewise, Canadian travel to the United States tends to vary relative to the value of Canadian currency. While the complete figures for the 2015 holiday season aren’t completely in, this travel season is shaping up to be another huge year for both travel agents like FlightHub and travelers alike.
About the author:
Keith Holland is the Community Manager for Momentum Ventures in Montreal, Quebec and is a journalism graduate from Toronto, Ontario’s Humber College. Follow Momentum Ventures at @MVenturesMTL and reach Keith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.