Searches for 2017 holiday flights to key US destinations have “fallen
off a cliff”, according to new research.
Interest in key destinations in the US has fallen by more than half, including to popular Florida cities such as Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, a study by travel search engine Kayak reveals.
Searches for San Diego are down 43%, Las Vegas by 36% and Los Angeles by 32%.
As a result, average prices for hotel rooms in Las Vegas have dropped on average 39%, in San Francisco by 34% and New York by 32%.
Kayak travel expert, Suzanne Perry, said: “The story of the summer is the fall of interest in the States.
“We noted that searches to the USA dropped after the new president came to office – but it seems like this is a longer-term trend.
“The US has historically been one of the most popular countries for Brits, but searches to popular destinations falling by over half in one year is a massive shift.
“With hotel prices also falling significantly, it may only be a matter of time before airlines follow suit. It will be interesting to see if it can bounce back in 2018.”
Meanwhile, Europe OTA Tripsta believes a doubling in the take up of one-way flights from the UK to the US in thre first two months of the year could suggest the return of non-US nationals concerned about restrictions to international travel following president Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.
A 90% hike in year-on-year transatlantic flight bookings in January could also have been driven by UK residents with relatives in the US keen to visit before potential travel restrictions could make this more difficult, according to the company.
Tripsta chief executive, Philipp Brinkmann, said: “With many modern families separated across the world, it is inevitable that travel will act as a barometer and mirror to socio-political changes.
“While we can never be certain why individuals are booking certain tickets, the dramatic uplift we have seen in travel to the US overall and in single tickets does seem significant at a time of massive change for the country.”
*The Kayak study also found prices tumbling in Spain, Portugal, Croatia and many long haul destinations for this summer.
The bargain of the summer is Mexico, with flights to Mexico City down on average 39%, or £289 cheaper than last year while flight pried have fallen to Brazil, Singapore and New Zealand.