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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Happy Fourth of July! – TripAdvisor reveals new popular USA destinations

Minneapolis emerges as hotspot for British tourists as searches more than double

As America prepares for its Independence Day festivities, TripAdvisor marks the occasion by revealing five of the fastest growing, up-and-coming hotspots, based on TripAdvisor.co.uk site data monitoring traffic uplift over the past year.

Brits may love New York, L.A and Florida but if you’re looking for the hot new US destination Minneapolis is leading the way. In the last 12 months, several American cities have seen interest from travellers across the pond more than double*.

The following comprise the US destinations which have seen their popularity rise the most in the last year with British travellers:

1.    Minneapolis, Minnesota – searches by British travellers up 162% in the last year.  As the British Pound continues its climb against the US Dollar, Minneapolis’s behemoth Mall of America, the biggest mall in the country, continues to be a huge draw for British travellers.  In addition, Sun Country’s London to Minneapolis route launch in 2010 made travel to Minnesota’s capital city even easier for British travellers 

2.    Arlington, Virginia – searches by British travellers up 149% in the last year.  Arlington has long been a favourite destination for culture vultures.  With a unique history of its own, visitors to Arlington can also access Washington DC within minutes thanks to a number of metro stations connecting it to the American capital.  In 2010, the city also saw the much-lauded opening of Artisphere, a new cultural centre featuring four performance venues and three art galleries

3.    Kansas City, Kansas – searches by British travellers up 137% in the last year.
The city is currently undergoing a massive nine billion dollar improvement program which may be drawing in the British travellers.  The downtown core has seen a substantial overhaul including a new performing arts centre and a new entertainment district, while Kansas City’s usual tourist draws – fountains, jazz music and barbeque food – continue to woo travellers. 

4.    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – searches by British travellers up 86% in the last year.  Called one of the world’s most beautiful cities by The Huffington Post and regularly praised for the quality of life its provides, Pittsburgh is on the up with British travellers.  The past two years have seen substantial growth with the opening of Rivers Casino and the Stage AE amphitheatre, while a new cycle trail – allowing visitors to Pittsburgh cycle access to Washington DC – set for completion in 2012 has piqued traveller interest. 

5.    St Louis, Missouri – searches by British travellers up 76% in the last year.  This affordable and family-friendly destination is currently undergoing massive improvements to its claim to fame, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, an area which includes a 91 acre riverside park and the mammoth Gateway Arch.  The project, already well underway, will help make the picturesque Missouri River a focal point in St. Louis, while visitors will continue to enjoy what the city is famous for – beautiful architecture, great food and friendly locals.

“America has long been popular with British travellers,” commented Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  “Historically Brits have tended to stick with the old favourites, but now we’re seeing new destinations emerge for a variety of reasons.  The USA is an enormous country with a so much diversity, so it’s great to see Brits cast their nets further and experience even more of what the US has to offer.”

*Data obtained by comparing page views on TripAdvisor.co.uk over two periods: June 2009-May 2010 vs June 2010-May 2011.  Data identifies the increase in share of page views on TripAdvisor.co.uk