Holiday Travel Trends

Cancun and New York Remain Top Holiday Season Destinations for U.S. Air Travelers

New Locations Appear on the 2019 Top 10 List as Seasonal Travel Diversifies
A womoan on the beach in Cancún, Mexico - Photo by Nolan Marketti on Unsplash
Cancun and New York Remain Top Holiday Season Destinations for U.S. Air Travelers

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC)

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) revealed today that Cancun and New York once again garnered the number-one spots for international and domestic air travel destinations for travelers originating in the U.S. during the Thanksgiving and Christmas-New Year’s holiday season. Strong year-over-year passenger growth to Manila for Thanksgiving (+25%) and Ho Chi Minh City for Christmas through New Year’s (+39%) helped those cities achieve a place on ARC’s top 10 list for the first time.

An analysis of ARC data also revealed that, although Punta Cana remained on both seasonal top- 10 lists, passenger volume fell 21% for each holiday compared to the same period last year, causing its ranking to slip from #3 on both lists in 2018 to #5 for Thanksgiving and #7 for the Christmas-New Year’s holiday this year.

As of November 3, 2019, holiday travel round-trip ticket prices for the top 10 destinations are running 4.5% higher than in 2018: Thanksgiving $486 (domestic), $1,043 (international) and Christmas-New Year’s $571 (domestic), $1,006 (international).

Thanksgiving Season*
The top 10 international flight destinations in 2019 are:

  1. Cancun
  2. London
  3. Montego Bay
  4. Manila
  5. Punta Cana
  6. Paris
  7. Los Cabos
  8. Bangkok
  9. Tel Aviv
  10. New Delhi

The top 10 domestic flight destinations in 2019 are:

  1. New York
  2. Orlando
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Chicago
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Dallas
  7. Denver
  8. San Francisco
  9. Miami
  10. Atlanta

*Thanksgiving Season Notes:
-Total purchased tickets examined for the Thanksgiving holiday season: 1,127,678
- All travel purchased on or before 11/03/19
- Simple round trips with U.S. origin
- Travel dates between the Saturday before Thanksgiving (11/23/19) until the Monday after (12/2/19)
- Tickets sold by U.S. travel agents, including online sites
- Does not include tickets purchased directly from airlines

Christmas – New Year’s Season**
The top 10 international flight destinations in 2019 are:

  1. Cancun
  2. London
  3. Manila
  4. Montego Bay
  5. Paris
  6. Los Cabos
  7. Punta Cana
  8. Puerto Vallarta
  9. Mexico City
  10. Ho Chi Minh City

The top 10 domestic flight destinations in 2019 are:

  1. New York
  2. Orlando
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Denver
  5. Honolulu
  6. Miami
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Ft. Lauderdale
  9. Phoenix
  10. San Francisco

**Christmas – New Year’s Season Notes:
-Total purchased tickets examined for the Christmas – New Year’s season: 1,111,668
- All travel purchased on or before 11/03/19
- Simple round trips with U.S. origin
- Travel dates between the Saturday before Christmas (12/21/19) until New Year’s Day (1/1/20)
- Tickets sold by U.S. travel agents, including online sites
-Does not include tickets purchased directly from airlines



Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.