Las Vegas, Denver and Orlando are ranked among the top three most booked cities, according to recently published data from travel planning app TripIt. And compared to last year, trips to Orlando and Pheonix are up despite being hot spots for COVID-19 outbreaks.
TripIt analyzed the top 100 destinations leaving from the U.S. for roundtrip flight reservations, made between Jan. 1 through July 30, with a travel date between Sep. 4 through 8, and compared that to the same booking and travel window a year ago. Findings indicated that cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York ranked among the top 25 destinations, despite some being hot spots for COVID-19 cases early on in the pandemic.
While flight bookings for the holiday weekend are just a third of what reservations were last year, destinations to Florida have surged 200% over last year, TripIt data shows. Of those reservations booked, 12% include flights to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, among the top 25 destinations. And trips to the Sunshine State’s West Coast city of Fort Myers went from No. 88 on the 2019 list to No. 29 this year.
Many destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico are now allowing Americans to visit with COVID-19 policies and restrictions in place. Aruba, which was not ranked on the 2019 destinations list, jumped to the No. 54 city — becoming the No. 1 booked destination in the Caribbean and Mexico.
The data seems to indicate that Americans’ attitudes toward travel during the coronavirus pandemic has changed since April, when 75% of Americans said they didn’t feel comfortable flying, according to a study by software provider Qualtrics. However, when asked if they felt safer taking flight in July, only 62% said they didn’t feel comfortable.
The U.S. Department of State, in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lifted the Global Level 4 Health Advisory last month, citing changing virus conditions across countries. The global advisory went into effect on March 19, advising U.S. citizens to avoid international travel due to the worldwide impact of COVID-19.