U.S. travelers flock to warmer destinations with eased restrictions

International bookings in December are 18% lower than domestic bookings in December

This winter, U.S. travelers may be flocking to warmer destinations with eased restrictions (Getty)
This winter, U.S. travelers may be flocking to warmer destinations with eased restrictions (Getty)

As the winter sets in around them, U.S. travelers are seeking out warmer climates — and places with relaxed travel restrictions.

While the volume of visitors this winter likely won’t come near the levels those destinations see in a typical year, business from American travelers could help boost weakened tourism sectors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Travel tracker Adara found the number of international flights booked by Americans in the week ending Oct. 24 was down 61 percent year-over-year. For the week ending Oct. 10, however, bookings were down 84 percent year-over-year.

Domestic bookings are 50 percent higher than international bookings in November, but they’re just 18 percent higher for December, according to travel tech company Amadeus.

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Travelers say that relaxed restrictions are a major deciding factor for holiday-season trips. Warm-weather locales such as Puerto Rico, Aruba, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands are some of the most-booked destinations, according to Adara.

Mexico is a hot destination as well. It’s home to seven of the top 10 international airports where Americans are traveling this holiday season, according to Airlines Reporting Co.

Meanwhile, the domestic hospitality market continues to struggle as Covid-19 cases rise and states once again enact lockdowns. Some hotel operators are reaching a breaking point and must decide whether to sell, borrow money to stay afloat or repurpose properties.

[WSJ] — Dennis Lynch