2014

Asphalt Tops Sand: Big Cities Outbook Beaches For Labor Day The Past Decade's Labor Day Travel Trends

Top Labor Day destinations for the last decade: #1 New York, #2 Chicago, #3 Las Vegas, #4 San Francisco, #5 Seattle, #6 Boston, #7 San Diego and #8 New Orleans

NORWALK, Conn., Aug. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The biggest crowds over Labor Day will be found not on the nation's beaches, but on the streets of the country's largest cities, according to priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN).  Today, Priceline released its list of the top destinations for the upcoming long weekend, and also revealed which destinations have been most successful at luring Labor Day tourists over the last 11 years.  On both lists, cities win, hands-down.

For Labor Day 2013, New York City's Midtown West neighborhood is the top destination for Summer's last long weekend.  Runner-up is Chicago's North Michigan Avenue area, and coming in third is Las Vegas's North Strip. 

Priceline's Top 50 Labor Day list is based on over 30,000 credit card-backed hotel room booking requests made on priceline.com's Name Your Own Price® hotel service for the upcoming holiday.  Because the survey is based on actual booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, priceline.com believes its annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of Labor Day travel trends.

Why are cities consistently more popular than beach destinations for Labor Day?  "The fall storm season can make Labor Day weather iffy for beach goers," said Priceline's Travel Ekspert Brian Ek.  "The bigger cities offer indoor and outdoor fun, including sightseeing, sporting events, restaurants, museums, theater and back-to-school shopping.  Some cities make the list because they're big college towns and Labor Day is a time for dorm check-in and even early season football matchups."

A LOOK BACK

This is the 11th year that Priceline has been tracking Labor Day travel trends.  Looking back over more than a decade, New York City reigns supreme as the #1 most popular destination, followed by #2 Chicago, #3 Las Vegas, #4 San Francisco, #5 Seattle, #6 Boston, #7 San Diego, and #8 New Orleans.  Determinations were made based on how highly the cities ranked on Priceline's list over the entire course of the last 11 years.

"Weather and man-made events each played their own roles in shaping Labor Day travel trends," said Ek.  "In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf states and began working its way up through the south-central U.S., driving some Labor Day vacationers as far north as Canada.  The tourism impact of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was felt in the Gulf for many months as cleanup continued.  In some cases, Labor Day tourists refused to be dissuaded from their plans.  In 2003, New York was still the number-one destination despite media images of a darkened Manhattan after a late-summer blackout paralyzed the city."

Labor Day Travel Rankings Over Time

 


2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

New York      

1

2

3

1

3

1

1

1

1

2

1

Chicago     

2

3

2

2

1

7

8

4

2

1

2

Las Vegas  

13

1

1

3

7

3

3

5

3

3

3

Seattle  

10

13

23

9

14

6

4

2

5

6

21

San Francisco   

11

20

8

11

9

8

6

9

7

4

5

Boston   

7

7

13

15

13

5

10

11

17

16

20

San Diego   

4

9

7

8

11

21

21

16

13

26

12

New Orleans  

5

18

  NL  

40

  NL  

37

42

35

33

12

10

 

Note: This chart shows the highest ranking a city has achieved on Priceline's Labor Day Top 50 Destinations list, starting with 2003.  NL means a city was not a top 50 destination for a given year

Overall, New York City has been Number One six times (3x for Times Square, 3x for Midtown West, 1 for Upper Midtown).  Las Vegas has been Number One two times (both for the Strip).  Chicago has been Number One two times (1 for Millennium Park, 1 for North Michigan Ave).

Priceline's Top 50 Labor Day Destinations for 2013

#1        New York City, Midtown West

#2        Chicago, North Michigan Ave/River North Area

#3        Las Vegas, Strip North Area

#4        Oahu, Waikiki Beach Area

#5        San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf

#6        New York City, Upper East Side

#7        New York City, Times Square/Theater District

#8        New York City, Midtown East

#9        Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South

#10      New Orleans, French Quarter

#11      Chicago, Millennium Park, Loop & Grant Park Area

#12      San Diego, Coronado

#13      Las Vegas, Fremont Street Vicinity

#14      Atlanta, Buckhead Area

#15      Atlanta, Downtown

#16      Paris, Champs Elysees/Arc De Triomphe

#17      Austin, Downtown

#18      Portland, Downtown

#19      Maui, Ka'anapali – Lahaina

#20      Boston, Boston Common/Theater District

#21      Seattle, Downtown/Pike Place

#22      Chicago, McCormick Place

#23      Orange County, Disneyland/Anaheim Convention Center/Garden Grove

#24      Boston, Harbor Front/Aquarium

#25      Seattle, Seattle Center/Space Needle

#26      San Francisco, Union Square East

#27      Newark, Jersey City/Hoboken/Weehawken

#28      San Diego, Downtown/Harbor Island

#29      New York City, Central Park South

#30      Los Angeles, Downtown

#31      St. Catharines, Niagara Falls

#32      Charleston, Downtown

#33      Pittsburgh, Downtown

#34      Washington, DC, Downtown

#35      Buffalo, Niagara Falls

#36      New York City, Financial District

#37      Boston, Seaport District/Convention Center

#38      Toronto, Downtown

#39      Montreal, Downtown

#40      San Francisco, SOMA/Moscone Center

#41      Virginia Beach

#42      Boston, Copley Square/Back Bay

#43      Los Angeles, Beverly Hills/West Hollywood

#44      Vancouver, Downtown

#45      Santa Barbara

#46      Seattle, University of Washington/Northgate

#47      Nashville, Downtown/Metro Center

#48      Philadelphia, University Area

#49      Savannah, Historic Savannah and Riverfront

#50      San Francisco, Union Square West/Nob Hill    

About The Priceline Group

The Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) is a leader in global online hotel reservations. The Priceline Group is composed of five primary brands - Booking.com, priceline.com, Agoda.com, KAYAK and rentalcars.com, and several ancillary brands.  The Priceline Group provides online travel services in over 180 countries and territories in Europe, North America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.

Booking.com is the number one online hotel reservation service in the world, offering over 330,000 hotels and accommodations (as of August 2, 2013), and is available in 41 languages. More recent counts are available on the Booking.com website. Priceline.com gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com's famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available, or the recently added Express DealsSM, where travelers can take advantage of hotel discounts without bidding. Agoda.com is an Asia-based online hotel reservation service that is available in 38 languages.  KAYAK is a leading travel meta-search service that allows customers to search for rates and availability for airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars across hundreds of websites.  Rentalcars.com is a multinational rental car service, offering its reservation services in over 6,000 locations and providing customer support in 40 languages.

SOURCE The Priceline Group



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