Orbitz Releases 2008 Travel Trends

Tuesday January 6, 2009

As 2008 draws to a close, Orbitz (http://www.orbitz.com), a leading online travel site, takes a retrospective look back with its latest Insider Index to offer insight into when and where Americans spent their travel dollars this year.

"By looking back at travel data in 2008, we can identify trends that will help consumers make smart decision in travel planning for the year ahead," said Jeanenne Tornatore, public relations director for Orbitz Worldwide. "For example, those who want to travel when they can find bargains should look to the slower travel periods when destinations have fewer crowds."

While last year (2007), the July 4th week topped the Orbitz list of busiest travel weeks, Thanksgiving has historically been the busiest travel period of the year, and 2008 was no exception. For travelers looking to avoid the long lines at the airport, the slowest travel week of the year is still upon us, with the week of December 29 coming in as the least busy travel week of 2008.

Busiest travel weeks of 2008

1. Thanksgiving
2. July 4th
3. Christmas
4. Memorial Day
5. Third week of March

Based on Orbitz.com hotel and package (air + hotel) bookings as of 11/26/08.

With the long-weekends becoming an easy way to escape for more and more Americans, the Index also examines where these weekenders spent their time and travel dollars in 2008. The Orbitz Index looked at travel over a four-day period for Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Top Holiday Weekend Destinations

2008 2007

1 Las Vegas 7
2 New York 1
3 Chicago 2
4 Orlando N/A
5 San Francisco 9
6 Washington, D.C. 4
7 Miami N/A
8 Los Angeles 3
9 Boston 8
10 Atlanta 6

(Based on Orbitz.com hotel and package (air + hotel) bookings.)

With so many enticing deals to this destination in 2008, it's no surprise that Las Vegas lured the most travelers, moving this vibrant city up six spots to top this year's list. The Big Apple and Windy City round out the top three most popular destinations.

Top Domestic Destinations

2008 2007

1 Las Vegas 6
2 New York 2
3 Chicago 1
4 San Francisco 9
5 Miami N/A
6 Los Angeles 3
7 Orlando 10
8 Washington, D.C. 4
9 Boston 8
10 Atlanta 7

(Based on Orbitz.com hotel and package (air + hotel) bookings as of 11/26/08.)

Most Popular Airfare Routes for 2008

With so much volatility in the airline industry in 2008, from rising gas prices to decreasing capacity, the fluctuating price of airfares was a focus of much discussion among consumers. This retrospective Orbitz Index reveals the average prices travelers actually paid for airfares on Orbitz.com for some of the most popular flight routes in 2008, ranging from $156 to $404.

In June, Orbitz announced the launch of a new service, Orbitz Price Assurance, created to help ease travelers' concerns about the fluctuating prices of airfares. With Orbitz Price Assurance, if the price drops for a plane ticket booked on Orbitz.com and another customer subsequently books the same airline ticket on Orbitz.com for less, Orbitz will automatically send travelers a cash refund for the difference.