Cancun is once again the top destination for US summer travel, the fourth year it has topped the ranking

Despite some negative publicity in the recent past, Cancun remains the top destinations for summer travellers from the US, according to new research by Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC).

Cancun has long been a top choice for US travellers, but in 2018 some US airlines made adjustments to their schedules for Cancun after travel advisories were issued for the area. Many tourists reported violence and incidents of blackouts from alcohol consumption at resorts in the Cancun region. Despite those warnings, Cancun’s overall passenger growth was 6.8% year-on-year in 2018 to 25.2 million.

And for the fourth consecutive year in a row, Cancun is topping ARC’s top destinations for summer travel even as passenger volumes from the US to Cancun for the same time period fell -3.3% in 2018. Las Vegas, which ranked five in ARC’s summer travel analysis, posted an +8% rise in passengers, which was the highest of the group.

“Average passenger counts and airfares across the group were virtually flat, down -1.6% and -1% respectively when compared to the same period in 2018, “ ARC concluded.

Honolulu posted the largest decrease in ticket prices of -8% while Punta Cana, Dominican Republic had the largest increase of +4.7%. Southwest Airlines has recently launched service to numerous destinations in Hawaii and serves Honolulu from the US west coast destinations of Oakland and San Jose and inter-island service from Maui to Honolulu.

“When we took a holistic look at the top 10 summer destinations in terms of passenger volume, we saw that the levels stayed steady and strong,” says Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science at ARC. “And since the average cost of a ticket also remained effectively unchanged, vacationing in the US and abroad continues to be a great deal.”

The ARC results are based on roundtrip air tickets purchased from US travel agencies, including online agencies, to worldwide destinations and do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines. The full top ten for summer travel comprises: Cancun, Mexico; New York; Orlando, Florida; London; Las Vegas; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Seattle; Honolulu; Los Angeles; and Chicago.

ARC has also confirmed the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold in May-2019 by US-based travel agencies increased +5% compared to May 2018, totalling USD9.2 billion versus USD8.8 billion. The average US round-trip ticket price during the month was USD511 versus USD498 in May-2018.

Similarly, the total number of passenger trips settled by ARC for US travel agencies increased +3.5% to 27,417,469 compared to 26,498,212 in May-2018. US domestic trips increased +2.7% while international passenger trips grew +4.7%.