Survey: Vegas remains hot destination in 2009

Sin City is the No. 1 domestic travel destination, according to a new survey from Travel Leaders, formerly known as Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates.

Not surprisingly, Travel Leaders experts say they have noticed a decline in year-over-year bookings. But, they indicate more than 80 percent of Travel Leaders’ experts “are either optimistic or neutral about the year ahead,” the group said in a news release.

“What we have witnessed with the U.S. economy is unlike anything we have seen in decades, and it is having a major impact on the traveling public and the travel industry,” Roger E. Block, CTC, president of Travel Leaders, said in a news release.

“Despite the daily drumbeat of negative news on our economy and the general perception that everyone is staying home, it speaks volumes that when asked ‘What are the top ways leisure travelers are saving money?’ the five most frequent responses from our experts were (in order): being flexible with dates, staying at all-inclusives, using frequent flyer miles, taking a cruise, and booking only if there is a promotion or deal,” Block added.

The Top Ten list of domestic destinations:

  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Kahului (Maui), Hawaii
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • New York City
  • Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Washington D.C.
  • San Francisco
  • Chicago

Interestingly, Vegas was the top domestic destination in the 2008 survey.

The Top Ten list of international destinations:

  • Caribbean Cruising
  • Cancún, México
  • Riviera Maya, México
  • Puerto Vallarta, México
  • Mediterranean Cruising
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Rome, Italy
  • Punta Cana, D. Republic
  • Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, México
  • Cruising Mexico (tie)
  • London (tie)

The 2009 Travel Trends Survey includes responses from 547 Travel Leaders owners, managers and frontline travel experts throughout the United States.

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