NEEDHAM, MA -- October 29, 2003 -- TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com), the leading travel research site, announced today the results of its study on the most popular worldwide winter vacation destinations researched online for 2003. Based on the behavior of over 15 million unique visitors over the last three months researching destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Europe and the South Pacific, the study showed an increasing preference for U.S.-based travel destinations -- specifically New York City and Las Vegas. Of particular interest was the shift from last year's favorites -- based predominately in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Five of the 10 most popular winter destinations were U.S. destinations, including New York City as #1 and Las Vegas as #2. Orlando, San Francisco and Maui were also represented in the top 10.
New York City has always been a favorite hot spot for holiday shopping and events, such as the tree lighting and ice-skating in Rockefeller Center. It moved up the ranks from #2 in last year’s TripAdvisor winter vacation study to #1 this year.
"Holidays and visitors are two synonymous words here in New York City," said Cristyne L. Nicholas, President & CEO of NYC & Company.
Las Vegas climbed the ranks from #6 last year to #2 this year and has emerged among travelers as more of a family-friendly vacation destination than just a place to gamble, with family shows, rollercoasters, pool slides and waterfalls to keep children entertained.
San Francisco and Maui are newcomers to the top 10, showing their recent appeal as popular vacation getaways.
While some of the traditional favorite international vacation destinations appear again on this year’s list, including Cancun, Paris, London and Playa del Carmen, half of the top 10 list are U.S. destinations. Roughly 70% of TripAdvisor’s monthly visitors are based in the United States, so these results reflect a continued trend toward domestic travel.
"Comparing our seasonal travel research rankings from year to year is a good way to examine consumer travel trends," said Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor. "This particular research demonstrated the growing popularity of Las Vegas as a place to spend vacations, and the continued trend toward U.S. travel and staying closer to home."
Methodology and Results
The results were determined based on the number of page views received by a given destination on TripAdvisor.com for the months of July through September 2003, when people are actively planning their upcoming winter vacations. TripAdvisor’s geographic coverage includes the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada and the South Pacific.
The complete rankings are:
Top 10 Most-Researched Winter Vacation Destinations
1. New York City, United States
2. Las Vegas, United States
3. Cancun, Mexico
4. Paris, France
5. Orlando, United States
6. London, England
7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
8. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
9. San Francisco, United States
10. Maui, United States