NORWALK, Conn., May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Las Vegas's North Strip area is the top destination for travelers over Memorial Day 2012, according priceline.com's (Nasdaq: PCLN) annual survey of the Top 50 destinations for the holiday that traditionally kicks off the summer travel season. In second place on this year's list is Chicago's tony North Michigan Avenue.
Priceline.com has been publishing its annual Memorial Day list for a decade, making it one of the longest running prognosticators of travel trends. The list is based on actual hotel room booking requests made by priceline.com Name Your Own Price® hotel service customers for the upcoming holiday period. Because the survey is based on booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, priceline.com believes its annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of holiday travel trends.
The 2012 Top 50 destinations highlight leisure travelers' budget sensitivities going into the summer season. "Average summer airfares are the highest we've seen in a decade," said priceline.com's in-house Travel Ekspert Brian Ek. "So it's not surprising to see travelers opting for the more affordable destinations where average summer airfares are down versus last year. For example, the average Las Vegas summer airfare is down 3.3%, while Chicago is down 4.4%, New York's JFK is down 3.4%, and San Francisco is down 3.4%."
International travel for Memorial Day 2012 was down compared to last year, with Paris being the only overseas destination to make the list. Ironically, after experiencing a travel boost following last year's Royal Wedding, and with the Olympics coming up in July, London failed to crack this year's top 50.
Ek reminded Memorial Day air travelers to be especially mindful of airline baggage fees. "Baggage fees this year can be as much as $100 each way," he said. "When comparing airlines, always factor in your baggage and calculate the total price for the fare plus bags. Know your airline's baggage restrictions and pack as lightly as possible."
With less than two weeks to go before Memorial Day, there's still plenty of time to get a deal on an airline ticket, hotel room, vacation package, rental car or even a cruise by visiting http://www.priceline.com. For special travel bargains, visit PriceBreakers http://www.priceline.com/pricebreakers, priceline.com's last-minute deals service, which is updated daily. Travelers who choose priceline.com's Name Your Own Price® option can save up to 60% on hotels, 40% on airline tickets and 40% on rental cars compared to published fares and rates.
Last-minute travelers can also get their hotel rooms and rental cars through priceline.com's Hotel & Rental Car Negotiator®, which recently won an award for Best Mobile App. The iPhone, iPad and iPod touch version of app, which is free, can be downloaded from iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/priceline-hotel-car-negotiator/id336381998?mt=8&uo=4. iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. The Android app (hotel only) can be downloaded for free from the Android market https://market.android.com/details?id=com.priceline.android.negotiator.
The Priceline Top 50 Destinations List for Memorial Day 2012
#1 Las Vegas, North Strip Area
#2 Chicago, North Michigan Avenue/River North Area
#3 New York City, Midtown West
#4 San Diego, Downtown & Harbor Island
#5 Las Vegas, South Strip Vicinity
#6 San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf
#7 New Orleans, French Quarter
#8 Chicago, Millennium Park, Loop & Grand Park Area
#9 New York City, Times Square/Theater District
#10 New York City, Upper East Side
#12 Boston, Waterfront/Convention Center
#13 Las Vegas, Fremont Street Vicinity
#14 St. Louis, Downtown
#15 Indianapolis, Downtown
#16 Atlantic City
#17 Austin, Downtown
#18 Niagara Falls, Ontario side
#19 Niagara Falls, New York side
#20 Los Angeles, Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey
#21 Portland, Downtown
#22 Charleston, Downtown
#23 Palm Springs
#24 New York City, Midtown East
#25 San Antonio, Riverwalk Area
#26 Miami, Downtown
#27 Providence, Downtown
#28 Seattle, Seattle Center/Space Needle
#29 Key West
#30 Paris, Champs Elysees/Arc De Triomphe
#31 Chicago, Greater Chicago Area
#32 Las Vegas, Near West Strip
#33 Boston, Copley Square/Back Bay
#35 Montreal, Downtown/City Center
#36 Savannah, Historic Savannah & Riverfront
#37 San Francisco, Union Square East
#38 Las Vegas, Boulder Strip
#39 Hilton Head Island
#40 Virginia Beach
#41 San Diego, Coastal Area
#42 Boston, Boston Common/Theater District
#43 Washington, DC, White House/Downtown
#44 Boston, Harbor Front/Aquarium
#45 Washington, DC, Convention Center/Capitol Hill Area
#46 New York City, Central Park South
#48 Orange County, Disneyland/Anaheim North
#49 Nashville, Downtown/Vanderbilt/Metrocenter
About The Priceline Group
The Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) is a leader in global online hotel reservations, with over 235,000 participating hotels worldwide. The Group is composed of four primary brands — Booking.com, priceline.com, Agoda.com and Rentalcars.com — and several ancillary brands. The Priceline Group provides online travel services in over 175 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.
Booking.com is the number one online hotel reservation service in the world, offering over 205,000 hotels (as of May 9, 2012), and is available in 41 languages. More recent hotel counts are available on the Booking.com website. Priceline.com gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com's famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available. Agoda.com is an Asia-based
online hotel reservation service that is available in 37 languages. Rentalcars.com is a multinational car hire service, offering its reservation services in over 4,000 locations. Customer support is provided in 38 languages.