Travel Trends: Orlando, Las Vegas top summer destinations for 2010

Perhaps fueled by a sense that the economy is improving, millions of Americans are gearing up to travel this summer. And when it comes to summer travel, Americans are nothing if not decisive about where we want to go.

This summer’s top two destinations – hands down – are Orlando and Las Vegas, according to a recent survey conducted with members of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).

Orlando ranks highest among the trips that agents are booking – 17.7% say the theme-park capital is this summer’s Number One destination. No doubt, that’s due in some part to the buzz building over the June 18 opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

Las Vegas is Number Two at 16.2%.

“There are a lot of discounts and deals right now for those cities,” explains Melissa Teates, director of research at ASTA in Alexandria, Va. “But, generally, most people just know they’ll have a good time in these cities. Orlando and Vegas really exist as vacation destinations.”Also among the top 10 major destinations this summer are San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, and Honolulu.

Another hot spot, New York City, is hotter than it’s been in some time.

It zoomed up the chart from Number Ten in 2009 — with 1.4% of ASTA members saying it was their top booking — to Number Six this year at 2.8%.

Teates says people are eager to travel after having put it off during the recession. But, she notes, many travelers are still holding down expenses. One way to do that is by staying relatively close to home.

“People want to travel more, but they’re being careful with costs,” she says. “A city like New York looks good. If you live on the East Coast, you can take a train. If you’re in the Midwest, it’s a short flight.”

[Data source: ASTA]

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