The Orbitz Insider Index Looks Ahead to Travel in 2011 Index also provides 2010 travel retrospective with the most booked destinations, busiest travel weeks and most popular travel routes

CHICAGO, Jan. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbitz (www.orbitz.com) today released its first Orbitz Insider Index of 2011, taking a look back at travel in 2010 and forecasting top destinations, hotel and travel trends for 2011.

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Busiest Air Travel Weeks in 2010: The top honor of busiest travel week once again goes to Christmas Week (Dec. 19Dec. 25), followed by the first week of August and the fourth week of June. Rounding out the top five was the third week of March, when many high schools and universities went on spring break.

Orbitz Insider Index: The Top Five Busiest Travel Weeks (1)

  1. Christmas Week (Dec. 19Dec. 25)
  2. August, First Week (Aug. 1Aug. 7)
  3. June, Fourth Week (June 20 – 26)
  4. June, Third Week (June 13 – 19)
  5. March, Third Week (Mar. 14 – 20)

One important note: While Thanksgiving Week (Nov. 21 – 27) did not make the top 5 list, November 24 (Wednesday before Thanksgiving) was the single-busiest travel day of the year, followed by September 3 (Friday before Labor Day) and July 2 (Friday before Fourth of July).

Top 2010 U.S. Destinations: The usual suspects are back atop the 2010 list of the 10 most popular U.S. travel destinations. For the third year in a row Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago claimed the first three spots on the list.

Orbitz Insider Index: The Top U.S. Travel Destinations in 2010 (2)


2010 Rank

Destination

1

Las Vegas, NV



2

New York, NY



3

Chicago, IL



4

San Francisco, CA



5

San Diego, CA



6

Orlando, FL



7

Honolulu, HI



8

New Orleans, LA



9

Washington, DC



10

Miami, FL




Notably absent are Boston which ranked ninth last year, and Los Angeles, which ranked fifth in 2009. New entrants include New Orleans, eighth on this year's list, and Honolulu, one spot ahead at seventh.

Average daily hotel rates rose across the board for the top 10 U.S. destinations in 2010.  However, there continues to be excellent value in cities like Las Vegas, San Diego, and Honolulu where hotel rates are still significantly below 2008 levels.

Top 2010 International Destinations: There was a good amount of movement in the top international destinations from a year ago, although Cancun retained top honors in 2010. San Juan took over the second spot this year, dropping London to third.  There were a host of new entrants this year including Puerto Vallarta, Niagara Falls, Canada, and Rome.

Orbitz Insider Index: The Top International Travel Destinations in 2010 (3)


2010 Rank

Destination

1

Cancun, Mexico



2

San Juan, Puerto Rico



3

London, England



4

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic



5

Riviera Maya, Mexico



6

Paris, France



7

Toronto, Canada



8

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico



9

Niagara Falls, Canada



10

Rome, Italy




Warm weather destinations, and in particular Latin America, continued to have the most allure for Americans traveling internationally in 2010. In addition to scenic beaches, travelers benefitted from lower rates in both Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta, while Cancun stayed relatively unchanged.

Top 10 Most Popular U.S. Travel Routes: When it comes to the most popular U.S. flight routes in 2010, the City that Never Sleeps was either the origin or destination for every pairing in the top 10. The most popular route was New York to Chicago, followed by New York to Los Angeles. Rounding out the top 10, New York City was the most popular origination city in seven of the top 10 route pairings, as well as the most popular destination for travelers in Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

Orbitz Insider Index: The Most Popular U.S. Travel Routes in 2010 (4)


2010 Rank

Origin City

Destination City

1

New York, NY

Chicago




2

New York, NY

Los Angeles




3

Los Angeles, CA

New York, NY




4

Chicago, IL

New York, NY




5

New York, NY

Fort Lauderdale




6

New York, NY

Orlando




7

New York, NY

Miami




8

New York, NY

San Francisco




9

New York, NY

Las Vegas




10

San Francisco

New York, NY




THE 2011 TRAVEL SCENE: A LOOK AHEAD

What's on the travel scene for 2011? Based on booking trends, search analysis and opinions from the Orbitz team of travel experts and editors we're providing a sneak peek into the best destinations, what consumers will want most in a hotel, and travel trend predictions for 2011.  

Best Destinations for 2011

When looking at the most popular destinations around busy travel seasons, Las Vegas, Cancun and Hawaii remained constants on the ten most popular domestic and international destination lists in 2010, and based on booking trends, are expected to do the same in 2011.  Whether planning for Spring Break or looking ahead to finding the perfect location for your summer vacation, the Orbitz team of destination experts have selected Las Vegas, Cancun and Hawaii as three tried-and-true places to travel that will continue to reinvent themselves and offer new experiences, at great prices, in 2011.  

Las Vegas: Looking for a vacation destination filled with great hotels and star-studded nightclub experiences? If so, Las Vegas is your vacation spot for 2011.  "As Las Vegas winds down its last big wave of hotel construction, consumers can look forward to more luxurious accommodations, such as the brand new Cosmopolitan, which features a hot new nightclub and awe-inspiring views from private terraces overlooking the Las Vegas Strip," said Reid Webster, Las Vegas destination expert and Regional Director for Orbitz Worldwide.  "With increased room supply in the destination and the need to get heads in beds, consumers can also expect Las Vegas to offer affordable average daily hotel rates in 2011."

Cancun: "Pristine beaches, varied entertainment and a modern and complete airport and hotel infrastructure, continue to make Cancun a traveler favorite year after year," said Antonio Pitta, Cancun destination expert and Regional Director for Orbitz Worldwide.  "And, with such easy access from the United States, Cancun is expected to once again top international destination travel lists in 2011."  

Hawaii: If you're looking for a great family destination in 2011, Hawaii will be home of the long-awaited and highly anticipated Disney Aulani Resort at Ko'olina, scheduled to open in August.  "This new construction is Disney's first foray into the Hawaii market and will give the island an even more magical feel," said Lisa Kroll, Hawaii destination expert and Regional Director for Orbitz Worldwide.  "Travelers can also expect lower airfares due to increased flight service to the islands."

What Consumers Want Most in a Hotel in 2011

Orbitz allows consumers to know everything about hotels inside and out including the ability to view and filter the available hotels by the amenities they offer.  Hotel offerings such as wireless Internet, babysitting services or even an on-site bar can make or break a consumer's decision to book a particular hotel property.  So, what do consumers really want in a hotel? Based on consumer search behavior on Orbitz.com in 2010, below are some of the must-have and most-searched amenities that we anticipate will continue to drive a consumer's decision to book a hotel in 2011.

Promotional offers/discounts: When it comes to searching for a hotel, consumers are looking to get more for less. On Orbitz.com searches for promotional offers and discounts such as free parking and airport shuttle service took the top spots.

Pool: Swimming pools by far get the kids excited when on vacation, and if you're traveling to Vegas or Miami, are more about the scene than actually swimming. But, as one of the top searched hotel amenities this proves that whether you're a single, couple or family swimming pools will likely remain one of the most important hotel amenities.

The extras: There is strong consumer interest surrounding hotels that offer amenities that go beyond the basics.  The number of hotels that welcome pets is rising and, surprisingly, so are consumer searches for pet-friendly accommodations.  There was also very strong interest in hotels that provide spa services and fitness centers.  

Orbitz Travel Trend Predictions for 2011

Orbitz may not have a crystal ball but does have in-house industry experts that have helped determine three travel trend predictions for 2011:

Booking travel with mobile devices:  In 2010, Orbitz announced the Orbitz app for iPhone® and Android™, as well as the next generation of the Orbitz mobile website (http://m.orbitz.com/).  "With the rapid acceleration of Smartphone usage, we anticipate strong travel booking growth via mobile devices this year," said Sam Fulton, SVP of Retailing for Orbitz Worldwide.

Comeback of vacation packages:  With the expected rise of travel prices due to fuel costs and airline seat availability, Orbitz predicts the comeback of vacation packages as consumers look for scoring the best travel deals. "Booking travel items together, such as flight and hotel or hotel and car, instead of separately will be one of the best ways to save in 2011," said Jeanenne Tornatore, Senior Travel Editor for Orbitz.com.  "Orbitz customers can save up to $465 by booking travel packages because Orbitz has access to discounted hotel and air rates that consumers won't get if items are purchased separately."

The Hotspots:  Each year consumers want to know where the hot and trendy places to travel will be for the year ahead.  In 2011, London and Australia are two hotspots that our team of destination experts predicts will gain popularity and experience a surge of travelers.  

  1. London:  There is expected to be a boost in tourism in April due to the royal wedding, set for April 29th.  At Orbitz, we have already seen uplift in the level of demand for the destination in late April.
  2. Australia:  On her season premiere in September, Oprah announced, "We're going to Australia!"  The destination is sure to be on the radar of travelers due to the increased media attention and a $5 million marketing campaign launched by Tourism Australia to drive consumers to the market.  And, with increased airline competition there is a decline in airline prices making travel to the destination more affordable for consumers.    

(1) Busiest travel weeks and individual days determined by total air bookings (domestic and international) made on Orbitz.com by 12/1/10 for travel between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10.  Each seven-day period included travel booked Sunday through the following Saturday. 

(2)  Top U.S. destinations determined by total hotel and package bookings made on Orbitz.com by 12/1/10 for travel between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10.  Average daily hotel rates were calculated using standalone hotel-only bookings made on Orbitz.com by 12/1/10 for travel between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10, with a year-over-year comparison for the same travel dates in 2009. 

(3)  Top international destinations determined by total hotel and package bookings made on Orbitz.com by 12/1/10 for travel between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10.  Average daily hotel rates were calculated using standalone hotel-only bookings made on Orbitz.com by 12/1/10 for travel between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10, with a year-over-year comparison for the same travel dates in 2009. 

(4)  Most popular U.S. travel routes determined by U.S.-only air bookings made on Orbitz.com by 12/1/10 for travel between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10. 

About Orbitz.com

Orbitz.com (www.orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and book a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.  Since launching its Web site to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world and has led the industry with innovations including Flight Price Assurance, Hotel Price Assurance and Total Price hotel search results. On Orbitz.com consumers can search more than 80,000 suppliers worldwide including airlines, hotels and car rental companies.  Orbitz.com is owned by Orbitz Worldwide.  Stay connected to Orbitz.com with sale alerts, exclusive promotions and engaging conversations by following Orbitz on Facebook (www.facebook.com/orbitz), Twitter (www.twitter.com/orbitz) and the Orbitz Travel Blog (www.orbitz.com/blog).

About Orbitz Worldwide

Orbitz Worldwide is a leading global online travel company that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo (www.ratestogo.com) and the Away Network (www.away.com).  Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Worldwide Distribution (http://corp.orbitz.com/partnerships/distribution) delivers private label travel solutions to a broad range of partners including many of the world's largest airlines, and Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed corporate travel solutions for corporations. For more information on partnership opportunities with Orbitz Worldwide, visit corp.orbitz.com.  Orbitz Worldwide uses its Investor Relations website to make information available to its investors and the public at http://www.orbitz-ir.com. You can sign up to receive email alerts whenever the company posts new information to the website.

SOURCE Orbitz.com



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