CHICAGO – July 25, 2006 – Celebrating its 5th anniversary, Orbitz (www.orbitz.com) is looking back to the most popular destinations its customers have explored in the last five years. In this special edition of The Orbitz Insider Index, the travel company provides a window into the travel past by recounting the most visited destinations at home and abroad.
“We’ve been proud that Orbitz has helped support the tourism industry in so many great destinations across America over the last five years,” said Heather Leisman, Director of Merchandizing, Orbitz.com. “Exploding population centers, the change in the environment and policies supporting tourism present travelers with some very unique vacation choices in the next five years.”
Top 5 in the Last 5
This edition of The Orbitz Insider Index reviews historic air bookings from June 2001 – June 2006 on Orbitz.com to obtain the most popular U.S. and international destinations during its 5 year history. The top five destinations according to The Index are:
The Orbitz Insider Index
Orbitz.com Top 5 Domestic & International Destinations During the Past 5 Years*
|1 Chicago, IL||1 London ,Great Britain (UK)|
|2 Las Vegas, NV||2 Cancun, Mexico|
|3 Orlando, FL||3 Toronto, Canada|
|4 New York, NY||4 Paris, France|
|5 Los Angeles, CA||5 Vancouver, Canada|
*Based on air only ticket sales between 6/5/01 and 6/5/06 as of 6/11/06
Orbitz Staff Insider Picks
In addition to exploring its past, Orbitz’ staff of travel experts is also looking towards the future to provide travelers with insight about destinations that are sure to be some of the most popular within the next 5 years. Orbitz “Insider Staff Picks” predicts five outstanding locations that should be on everyone’s must see list in the five years to come!
Over the last several years, not only has China’s economy greatly expanded, but also the number of tourists the country is attracting. Shanghai, with over 18 million residents, is a unique place to explore traditional Chinese culture and well as get a taste of the future in this trendsetting city. For visitors interested in witnessing this growth first hand, while picking-up a few souvenirs, there is no better place to visit than famous Nanjing Road. The 3.4 mile road is the busiest commercial street in China offering visitors and locals more than 600 stores. For the traveler that loves to shop, this is a must visit location! After exploring Nanjing Road, travelers seeking a bit of relaxation can visit Yuyuan Garden or Shanghai Museum. Sitting on five acres of land in the middle of Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden captures the landscape design of the Ming and Qing dynasties and features more than 40 scenic spots. Shanghai Museum allows visitors to explore ancient Chinese art such as sculptures and paintings within its eleven different galleries.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
With its hot climate and a variety of world class resorts rising in the area, Albuquerque continues to grow in popularity and charm. Ever dream of seeing hundreds of hot air balloons in the sky at the same time? Visit Albuquerque during its International Balloon Fiesta. Held from October 6 through 15, the Balloon Fiesta is the largest event of its kind in the world welcoming around 750 balloons each year. Balloon rides are available for travelers that not only want to watch, but participate. Albuquerque also has many year round activities, making it a blossoming tourist destination. Visitors can explore the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and “Old Town.” The Cultural Center provides an introduction to New Mexico’s Native American heritage while Old Town is the core of the old Spanish colonial settlement. Old Town features the historic San Felipe de Neri Church along with many craftsman, artists and restaurants with authentic New Mexican cuisine.
This capital city may be in a country named for its climate, but its hospitality and energy are anything but icy. Located in Southwestern Iceland, Reykjavik is a hub of art, culture and adventure. Whether you stay in this lively, sophisticated town or venture out to see some of Iceland’s natural wonders, there’s no shortage of excitement and activity. In town, locals and visitors alike frequent the popular Blue Lagoon, a man-made lagoon of mineral-rich hot water from far beneath the earth, known for its positive effects on the skin. For those looking for a little adventure, a trip to Iceland isn’t complete without taking in the beauty and uniqueness of the ice caps via boat tour. And who knows how much longer we will have to see these spectacular formations as scientists continue to report the effects of global warming on this region?
New Orleans, Louisiana
Fans of this Cajun city know there is more to this town than just Mardi Gras. Orbitz continues to cheer on reconstruction efforts post hurricane Katrina. As its levies are rebuilt, we believe the crown jewel of the Gulf Coast will reemerge for all its citizens and celebrate its heritage as a city of ground-breaking music, first-rate food and great people. Travelers should keep their eye on New Orleans in the next several years and keep alive the support to rebuild and revitalize this important American city. Tourism was a large part of the city’s economy and will likely be a focus of development in the years to come.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is growing rapidly as a favorite tourist destination in Africa. For travelers seeking the most popular sites in the city, be sure to explore the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Table Mountain. The waterfront has more than 45 restaurants and 400 stores featuring everything from ethnic treasures, handmade art and gemstones to shark’s teeth and jewelry. To get a closer look at the natural beauty of South Africa, visit Table Mountain, one of the city’s most famous landmarks because of its unique feature, a flat summit measuring around 3 kilometers. For great views of Cape Town and the surrounding area, visitors can ride a cable car to the mountain’s summit. Travelers looking to explore sites just outside the city should consider visiting the Winelands region. In just a short drive from Cape Town, travelers can visit this world-famous wine tasting location with both small wine boutiques and larger wine estates.
Orbitz (www.Orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website www.orbitz.com to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and 16 car rental companies. J.D. Power and Associates noted that Orbitz.com had the highest customer satisfaction for independent travel web sites – hotels in its 2005 Independent Hotel Web Site StudySM. Study based on responses from 3,668 consumers who booked their hotel reservations through an independent travel Web site. www.jdpower.com. Orbitz Worldwide is a division of Travelport, Inc (www.travelport.com).