Not as many Americans searched for international flight prices online in July 2007, and some destinations within the United States increased in popularity compared to a year ago.
According to a press release issued by Cheapflights.com, searches on their website for air travel to the city of London, U.K. decreased from seventh most popular in July 2006 to 15th in July 2007. It also indicated that searches for other foreign destinations had decreased, while more travelers searched for Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles than did a year before. Las Vegas, Orlando, and New York City remained the top three destination searches both years.
The press release quoted the web site’s Director of Marketing as attributing the declining interest in overseas travel to the U.S. dollar’s reducing value. He pointed out that the city of London is a “perennial favorite” among travel destinations for Americans, but indicated that the different exchange rate had made it more costly.
Other statistics appear to confirm the assertions based upon this search data. According to the official Statistics Canada agency, there was less travel to Canada from the United States in June, 2007 than the same month in 2006, although travel from other countries increased in the same period of time.
Data on tourism to Japan looks to support this trend as well. Japan National Tourist Organization statistics provided by the Japan Tourism Marketing Company indicate that travel from the U.S. to Japan in June was 6.5% less than in June, 2006. In May it was only one-tenth percent more than a year before, and in April there was two percent less travel of this type. Travel from Canada to Japan increased from a year before in all three months.
On the other hand, the exchange rate may have increased the number of visitors coming to the United States from other countries, thus benefiting some Americans who don’t travel abroad. The U.K. government web site National Statistics Online states that the number of U.K. tourists who visited foreign countries between June 2006 and the same month in 2007 increased from 68.1 to 69.5 million, including an increase of two percent in visits to North America.
According to its web site, Cheapflights.com was founded in 1996 and is among the fifteen top U.S. travel web sites. It has a separate web site, cheapflights.co.uk, for British and Irish travellers to use.
1. PR Newswire, http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-22-2007/0004649757&EDATE=
2. Statistics Canada, http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/070820/d070820a.htm
3. Japan Tourism Marketing Company, http://www.tourism.jp/english/statistics/inbound/
4. Cheapflights.com, http://www.cheapflights.com/about-us/
5. National Statistics Online, http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=352