Where did Americans Travel Most in the First Half of 2015?

Hotel Price Index reveals Midwest, Southwest and Western cities are surging domestically

– The Grand Canyon is now considered a top domestic destination, after drawing in visitors from around the country and jumping dramatically in popularity.

– Canadian cities made a good showing in the top international destinations, as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Niagara Falls were all included in the Top 15.

– New York, Orlando, and Las Vegas are yet again the most popular destinations for international travelers looking to experience the U.S. culture.

DALLAS – August 27, 2015 – With summer winding down and holiday travel plans beginning to take shape, Hotels.com® has released the most popular cities from the first half of 2015, highlighting the most popular domestic and international destinations based on data from the Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®).

Top Domestic Destinations

While the Top 10 U.S. destinations for American travelers remained largely the same as the first half of 2014, several Southwest and Midwest destinations rose in popularity. After seeing record-breaking crowds this year, the Grand Canyon region made the biggest jump in the rankings from outside the Top 50 to #45. Phoenix also experienced an increase in popularity in the first half of 2015 after being on the national stage and hosting the country’s biggest sporting event in February. The city jumped two spots to become the 27th most popular domestic destination, replacing Atlantic City, which fell 12 spots to #39.

Kansas City (#29) and St. Louis (#30) also made big leaps as each moved ahead four spots to join Chicago (#6) and Detroit (#28) as top Midwest destinations. California hotspots San Diego (+1 spot to #4) and Anaheim (+2 to #17) also rose in domestic popularity, but with a revitalized downtown and a flurry of new restaurant openings, it was the state capital of Sacramento (+4 spots to #31) that saw the biggest increase on the west coast.

50 Most Popular Domestic Cities for American Travelers
City H1* 2015 vs H12014 Change City H1 2015 vs H12014 Change City H1 2015 vs H12014 Change
1. Las Vegas, Nev. No Change 18. Philadelphia, Pa. -1 35. Reno, Nev. +3
2. New York, N.Y. No Change 19. Seattle, Wash. -1 36. Raleigh, N.C. +1
3. Orlando, Fla. No Change 20. Dallas, Texas +1 37. Jacksonville, Fla. -1
4. San Diego, Calif. +1 21. Nashville, Tenn. -1 38. Newark, N.J. +2
5. Los Angeles, Calif. -1 22. Portland, Ore. No Change 39. Atlantic City, N.J. -12
6. Chicago, Ill. No Change 23. Tampa, Fla. +1 40. Savannah, Ga. +1
7. San Francisco, Calif. No Change 24. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -1 41. Honolulu, Hawaii -2
8. Washington, D.C. No Change 25. Myrtle Beach, S.C. +1 42. Albuquerque, N.M. +1
9. Houston, Texas No Change 26. Charlotte, N.C. -1 43. Columbus, Ohio +1
10. San Antonio, Texas No Change 27. Phoenix, Ariz. +2 44. Charleston, S.C. -2
11. Atlanta, Ga. No Change 28. Detroit, Mich. No Change 45. Grand Canyon New to list
12. Boston, Mass. No Change 29. Kansas City, Mo. +4 46. Arlington, Va. -1
13. New Orleans, La. No Change 30. St. Louis, Mo. +4 47. Pigeon Forge, Tenn. +3
14. Denver, Colo. No Change 31. Sacramento, Calif. +4 48. Oklahoma City No Change
15. Miami, Fla. No Change 32. Indianapolis, Ind. -2 49. Memphis, Tenn. No Change
16. Austin, Texas No Change 33. Baltimore, Md. -2 50. Virginia Beach, Va. -4
17. Anaheim, Calif. +2 34. Salt Lake City, Utah -2

Top International Destinations for Americans

For U.S. travelers going abroad in the first half of 2015, Canada again was the place to visit. Toronto (#4) and Vancouver (#5) remained in the Top 5, while Montreal jumped two spots to #6 and Niagara Falls remained in the Top 20 at #14.

The list of most popular international destinations for Americans in the first half of 2015 also featured several newcomers. Budapest’s international airport is on pace to break 2014’s record number of passengers and the Hungarian capitol saw one of the biggest jumps in popularity internationally, breaking into the rankings at #41. Meanwhile, Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez (#44), which launched a tourism campaign called “Juarez is Waiting for You” in April to attract travelers, entered the Top 50 at #44.

Other international cities to rise in popularity in the first six months of 2015 included Bangkok (+10 to #11), Punta Cana (+9 spots to #40), Sydney (+5 spots to #28) and Dubai (+5 spots to #17).

 50 Most Popular International Cities for American Travelers
City Country H1 2015 vs H1 2014 Change City Country H1 2015 vs H1 2014 Change
1. London United Kingdom No Change 26. Riviera Maya Mexico +3
2. Paris France No Change 27. Prague Czech Republic No Change
3. Rome Italy No Change 28. Sydney Australia +5
4. Toronto Canada No Change 29. Milan Italy +3
5. Vancouver Canada No Change 30. Copenhagen Denmark -2
6. Montreal Canada +2 31. Shanghai China -6
7. Barcelona Spain -1 32. Panama City Panama +3
8. Tokyo Japan -1 33. Los Cabos Mexico -2
9. Hong Kong Hong Kong No Change 34. Vienna Austria +2
10. Amsterdam Netherlands No Change 35. Athens Greece +3
11. Bangkok Thailand +10 36. Beijing China -6
12. Venice Italy No Change 37. Stockholm Sweden +4
13. Madrid Spain +1 38. Edinburgh United Kingdom +2
14. Niagara Falls Canada -3 39. Bogota Colombia No Change
15. Florence Italy -2 40. Punta Cana Dominican Republic +9
16. Mexico City Mexico No Change 41. Budapest Hungary New to List
17. Dubai United Arab Emirates +5 42. Vallarta Mexico +1
18. Dublin Ireland -1 43. Bali Indonesia New to List
19. Istanbul Turkey -1 44. Ciudad Juarez Mexico New to List
20. Cancun Mexico No Change 45. Calgary Canada No Change
21. Berlin Germany +3 46. Frankfurt Germany +1
22. Singapore Singapore -3 47. Brussels Belgium +3
23. Munich Germany +3 48. Buenos Aires Argentina -11
24. San Juan Puerto Rico -9 49. Reykjavik Iceland New to List
25. Seoul South Korea -2 50. Rio de Janeiro Brazil -6

*H1 is the first half of 2014 or 2015

Top U.S. Destinations for International Travelers

New York (#1), Las Vegas (#2) and Orlando (#3) remained the three most popular U.S. destinations for international visitors in the first half of 2015, while San Francisco surpassed Los Angeles and Miami to reach the #4 spot. The Grand Canyon rose in popularity amongst international visitors as well, moving from #24 to #20. The national park was recently named the sixth most popular international landmark on Chinese travelers’ wish lists according to the Hotels.com Chinese international Travel Monitor.

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