Destinations are enjoying an unexpected rise in tourism during the fall months after sky-high airfares have pushed many travelers to delay their summer vacations.
Industry experts estimate that summer fares increased between 4.5 percent and 6 percent from last year with an average domestic round-trip ticket costing between $399.48 and $415 depending on the travel site.
Fewer flights and smaller planes amid strong demand have fueled the fare increase.
In response, fall trips to warm-weather destinations where travelers can squeeze out the end of the summer season have become a popular choice.
Florida has seen a 20 percent increase in international fall arrivals between 2011 and 2013, reports the World Travel & Tourism Council. Panama City Beach, in particular, saw its tourism revenue in September and October jump 56 percent over the past five years.
Another popular, albeit surprising, trip motivator is fall foliage or, as destinations like to call it, leaf peeping.
Media outlets including New York Time Out, Yahoo, and USA Today report on the top places to see leaves while destinations tout their changing colors while destinations take great pains to document the brilliant colors and share them across all social media accounts.
— Visit New Hampshire (@VisitNH) September 8, 2014
— I LOVE NEW YORK (@I_LOVE_NY) September 10, 2014
— Travel Vermont (@VermontTourism) September 2, 2014