January, and the rest of the first quarter of the year, mark the main spike in booking for the travel industry. The Q1 booking spike is partly due to post Christmas blues, but also because the New Year invites new hope, and a blank calendar ready to fill with escapes from the daily grind.
When April and May come along there is a short lull before the next rush to book for summer holidays a longer more steady rush that lasts from mid June to late July. This is where the late bookers get their cash our and search for late deals – but where will people be going this summer?
By looking at the travel trends in January we can predict roughly what will be popular in the June/July booking period – so here we go with the most popular destinations from Q1 2011.
Top 5 Destinations.
The US top destination was also the top destination overall – this was New York, USA. New York dominates the chart on a regular basis so this is no surprise. People are drawn to New York for so many reasons – iconic buildings, great food and culture, lots of shows on Broadway – and also shopping. Families and couples enjoy New York, and it’s also a very large business destination.
Tenerife puts Spain’s Canary Islands in second place, another frequent top destination; Tenerife is the most popular island in the Canaries with about 5 million tourists visiting every year. The UK represents the largest share of tourists to the island, where it is the warm and dry south part of the island that pulls in most visitors.
Spain’s mainland is in spot 3 with Malaga. With an average high of 30 Degrees Celsius in August, it’s not hard to see why. It offers the city life combined with a wonderful coastline of beaches in one of the most easily and cheaply accessed countries in the Europe.
In 4th is Dublin, Ireland. This is one destination which makes a surprise appearance, not even making the top 10 most popular destinations last year. Dublin has a great history and is also a vibrant and youthful city. Visitors to Dublin can also enjoy great local seafood and another local speciality – the Guinness factory, the biggest visitor attraction in Ireland.
Another Spanish destination slides in at 5th place – Alicante. Enjoying a wonderful Mediterranean location and dramatic landscape, this is a great destination for both beaches and city culture.
Top 5 countries.
With 3 destinations in the top 5, it’s not hard to have guessed that Spain was the #1 Destination for holiday bookings in Q1 2011. It dominates due to the unique and welcoming culture, the Spanish which is well known and a common first and second language around the world. The culture and finally the lush southern coast define Spain and shape the holiday memories for hundreds of families from around the world.
In second place is the USA, which not only had the number 1 destination of New York, but also gains greatly for hosting Disney, Universal and many other great family destinations in Orlando, Florida. Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami also give the USA a boost to the number 2 slot.
Behind the USA, is the UK, which saw a boost in January thanks to the Royal wedding and quite possibly the forthcoming 2012 Olympics. Top destinations within the UK were Edinburgh, Belfast and London.
Australia comes 4th with the distant and varied country offering a wide variety of holiday makers an exciting opportunity to explore life.
5th is Italy, which like Spain has many cultural hotspots and a fantastic range of coastal locations and a lovely warm climate. Rome and Venice the top destinations in Italy, two very unique and romantic holiday destinations.
So in summary the key changes the UK travel industry spotted in 2011 was a further boost in New York’s status as the most popular city on earth. Also, not surprisingly, the impact of social media has seen an increase year on year.