U.S. travel agents have probably been asked a lot of questions recently about which observation deck or neighborhood restaurant is the best in New York City, seeing as the city is the top-booked domestic destination from now through the end of the year.
That’s according to survey data of more than 1,100 U.S.-based travel agents from Travel Leaders Group brands that was gathered last month. Travel Leaders Group, which includes brands such as Protravel International, Tzell Travel Group, and Nexion, surveyed its agents on how optimistic they are with their business for the remainder of 2015, how business compares to last year and which destinations travelers keep walking in the door looking to book.
Respondents said they’ve seen more bookings for New York City than any other U.S. city, and cruises to Alaska, for example, have received more bookings than cities like San Francisco, California; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C. and Honolulu, Hawaii. Nearly half of respondents who help book cruises said such bookings are higher than last year and European river cruise bookings moved up one position from last year on the international destinations list.
Chart 1: There’s been some changes to the most-booked domestic destinations for this fall. New York City now (narrowly) occupies the top spot versus a year ago when Orlando, Florida was number one.
|1||New York City, NY||30.80%||4|
|4||Las Vegas, NV||29.10%||2|
|5||Cruise – Alaska||20.60%|
|6||Los Angeles, CA||19.50%||8|
|7||San Francisco, CA||17.70%||6|
Chart 2: Cruises are popular for the most-booked international destinations this fall.
|1||CRUISE – Caribbean||33.90%||1|
|4||CRUISE – Europe (River)||21.50%||5|
|7||CRUISE – Europe (Mediterranean)||18.20%||6|
|8||Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||14.30%||8|
|9||Florence and/or Tuscany, Italy||12.20%||11|
|10||Montego Bay, Jamaica||10.10%||9|
Chart 3: When asked to compare overall 2015 travel bookings so far to 2014 at this time last year, some 62.8% of travel agents indicated that their bookings are higher and 24.4% indicated that they are the same as compared to a year ago.
|They’re About Even||24.40%||28.60%||28.30%||28.80%||24.00%||23.90%||11.10%|
Chart 4: Respondents were asked whether they have seen an increase in bookings from millennial clients who are 30 years old or younger. About 41% indicated that bookings for clients in that age range have increased while 50.2% stated bookings have remained the same over the past year. The top types of trips and destinations that Travel Leaders Group travel agents are booking for clients 30 years and under are:
|4||Active and Adventure||45.30%|
|5||U.S. – Hawaii||35.00%|
|8||Cruise – Deep Water||19.30%|
|9||U.S. – Continental||19.20%|
|12||U.S. – Alaska||8.30%|
|14 (tie)||South America||7.50%|
Chart 5: When asked for their personal outlook on their business for the remainder of 2015, an overwhelming majority (97%) indicated they are either positive or neutral.
|Neither optimistic nor pessimistic||16.60%||16.00%||15.30%||18.30%||20.50%||19.30%|
Source: Travel Leaders Group