What 2020 holiday travel looks like in New York, Miami and Salt Lake City

What 2020 holiday travel looks like in New York, Miami and Salt Lake City

With just a few  weeks left in 2020, it is easy for one to doubt that the New Year will bring a sense of what we have been missing: daily routines, dining, social interaction…. And of course travel.

Consumers are no doubt weighing travel plans, hopeful to visit family and friends for the holidays after months of staying indoors, yet mindful of lockdowns and restrictions. It’s been positive to see that the appetite for travel remains strong, with numerous travelers taking advantage of Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday deals.

Although the “most wonderful time of the year” may look a bit bleak in the travel space, there are a number of destinations seeing positive, upward trends as we head into the New Year. Using Market Insight, we will take a look at three popular U.S. destinations: New York City, Salt Lake City, Utah, Miami, Florida, and the key indicators that are showing positive trends leading up to 2021.

Rebounding Demand after Thanksgiving:  New York City focus

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, the focus now shifts to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. All eyes are on New York City, as we look to see if the city can recover some of their bookings. Noticeably we see flight and hotel searches surge as consumers switch their focus to the upcoming holiday.  

Interestingly as of December 7th, 80% of alternative lodging is unavailable. This indicates more travelers will be looking towards hotels should they intend to travel. This increased by 6% for alternative lodging and 7% increase for hotels over the last 2 weeks.

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Although many events are going virtual for this year's ball drop, consumers are still looking to experience the festive feel of New Year’s eve in New York City - accounting for the steady increase in Hotel searches week over week with a consistent search for LOS1.

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Hitting the Road

According to AAA, traveling by car is expected to be the most popular mode of transit, with 47.8 million travelers hitting the road and accounting for 95% of all holiday travel for Thanksgiving. If we anticipate the same for the upcoming holidays, it’s important to not neglect the shoulder/travel days leading up to Christmas or NYE. 

What value adds can you market to attract the roadside traveler prior to them reaching their destination or entice them to stay longer?

Warm Destinations - Miami

Miami markets are currently showing a positive upward trend as consumers are looking to trade winter boots for flip flops for their holiday festivities. In the past two weeks, hotel search patterns have nearly doubled showing interest in the sunny destination. 

The most popular LOS search for both flight and hotel searches remains at LOS3, but in looking at availability within the market, some hotels are not implementing a LOS.

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Colder Destinations : Salt Lake City

While some travelers may opt to celebrate on sandy beaches others are looking to hit the slopes. In reviewing colder destinations such as Salt Lake City, we can see that travelers are extending their winter break beyond just a weekend. The most popular flight searches are showing LOS 4 -7 nights mainly coming from US travelers.

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As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, and restrictions and lockdowns are put into place again how can hoteliers attract travelers that still intend to travel for the holidays? With alternative lodging and the option to stay with family – what marketing strategies will be the most impactful?  


As historical data is not indicative of current market conditions, it's critical to drive targeted, location-specific initiatives to increase revenue opportunities as demand shifts in real time. Using Market Insight, hoteliers can take action to capture the remaining share, positioning themselves competitively within their market.

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