‘Extraordinary pent up demand’ for travel has Canadians booking up these U.S. cities

Travel lovers are eager to get moving again and there’s one place that is definitely seeing the results of pent-up demand from Canadians: the U.S.

A favourite destination even pre-pandemic, data obtained by Yahoo Canada over the last full week revealed that Expedia has seen a 10-per-cent increase in flight searches to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Honolulu and San Francisco specifically.

“It’s been a long two years and there’s extraordinary pent-up demand,” Christopher Heywood, executive vice president of global communications for NYC & Company told Yahoo Canada over the phone, as he watched a double-decker bus full of tourists drive by his window.

”Not only have people missed their ability to travel to the greatest city in the world, New York City, they have a love affair with it.”

“New York City is one of the few places that you can literally go around the world without leaving the five boroughs. So it’s truly the ultimate multicultural international experience. One of the things that we did during the pandemic is we doubled down on highlighting various experiences where people can really get a better sense of what New York City has on tap.”

It’s been a long two years and there’s extraordinary pent-up demand.

As travel resumes, sustainability-minded trips are also top of mind for visitors, including those going to New York City.

“I think the people are more sustainably minded, they want to leave a positive imprint on the place they’re visiting,” Heywood said. “I definitely think visitors are looking for destinations that embrace sustainability.”

“I think being able to support the local economy, being able to help small businesses and being able to support the livelihoods that come with it, I think is [also] so important.”

Hotel development is also really ramping up in New York, with plans to expand from 118,000 rooms to 130,000 rooms in the next couple of years, to allow the city to be even more prepared to handle increasing numbers of visitors.

Based on hotel searches on Expedia, these are the top U.S. travel destinations for Canadians:

  • Las Vegas

  • New York City

  • Honolulu

  • Orlando

  • Anaheim

  • Maui

  • San Diego

  • Seattle

  • Nashville

  • Myrtle Beach

Window lights spell out “Hope” and the shape of a heart at the Park MGM hotel-casino during the shutdown of all casinos and nonessential businesses, an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. April 3, 2020. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s always something to see and do in Las Vegas, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

If you’re going in June, grab tickets to Aerosmith’s 50th anniversary Las Vegas residency, at Dolby Live at Park MGM, beginning June 17, or see the Jonas Brothers during their five-night residency, also at Dolby Live, between June 3 and June 11.

Travellers, and sports fans, looking to get away sooner can take in the NFL Draft Experience, an interactive football theme park that will be free to the public during all three days of the draft, April 28 to April 30.

If you’re a fan of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise, don’t miss the opportunity to go to Lisa Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd’s second Las Vegas restaurant, Vanderpump à Paris, at Paris Las Vegas.

The Palm Court at The Plaza hotel in New York

The Palm Court at The Plaza hotel in New York

New York City, New York

A fairly quick trip for many Canadians, it’s always a great time to visit New York City.

This year is the 30th anniversary of NYC Restaurant Week in July, which will feature a variety of specialty menu items from restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world. Fans of the Amazon Prime Video show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel can take a tour of the sites shown on the series, travelling in a 1957 Chevy car.

If you’re looking for newer experiences, a new hotel, the Aman Hotel in New York, is scheduled to open in May in the Crown Building, which was the first home of the Museum of Modern Art. Looking to get pampered in the city, the QC NY Spa recently opened at Governor’s Island, providing immersive wellness experiences with city views. The newly renovated Javits Center is debuting its seven-acre green roof with 35 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honeybees.

If you’re never been to New York City before, or you’re just longing for the classics, there are definitely a few quintessential New York attractions, including seeing the Statue of Liberty, visiting Bemelmans Bar at the iconic Carlyle Hotel, and enjoying afternoon tea at The Palm Court at The Plaza hotel.

A tip from Christopher Heywood: The best way to explore New York is really by foot, walking around the city, taking the subway, which is not only a more eco-conscious way to explore but it’s also a way to “go deeper” in your exploration of the city.

Surfboards on famous Waikiki beach, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Surfboards on famous Waikiki beach, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Honolulu, Hawaii

The state capital of Hawaii is an incredibly unique destination.

Experience traditional Hawaiian sports like outrigger canoe paddling and surfing. There’s also nothing like taking in the natural beauty of Hawaii by hiking the terrain with a variety of trails for beginners and experts alike.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority have partnered to launch Malama Hawaii, which urges visitors to take a trip that “gives back to Hawaii and to them.” These experiences include volunteer projects like reforestation and tree planting, self-directed beach cleanups, ocean reef preservation and creating Hawaiian quilts for local elders. Visitors can also enjoy a free extra night from participating hotels.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind showcase pavilion at Epcot will feature a new storytelling attraction that rotates to focus guests on the action, and will include the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. (Disney/Marvel)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind showcase pavilion at Epcot will feature a new storytelling attraction that rotates to focus guests on the action, and will include the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. (Disney/Marvel)

Orlando, Florida

We can’t talk about Orlando without talking about everything new and exciting for visitors to experience at theme parks.

Next month, May 27, Walt Disney World Resort will debut a new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster at Epcot, the first reverse launch Disney coaster and the first coaster attraction at Epcot.

September may seem like a long way away but with increased interest in travel, you can already purchase tickets and packages for Universal Orlando Resort presents Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida. For 43 nights from Sept. 2 through Oct. 31, the event will include 10 new haunted houses, five scare zones and two live shows.

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the “Main Street Electrical Parade,” this nighttime spectacular will return to Disneyland Park, April 22, 2022. Inspired by the original design of the parade, plus Disney Legend Mary Blair’s iconic art style on “it’s a small world,” the new grand finale will bring together classic and contemporary favourites, led by the Blue Fairy from “Pinocchio.” (Sean Teegarden/Disneyland Resort)

Anaheim, California

If you’re more of a Disneyland Resort person, opposed to Disney World, don’t miss the Main Street Electrical Parade, returning for a limited time beginning April 22, with an epic finale sequence inspired by the original designs of the parade floats and Mary Blair’s art style on “it’s a small world.” The first-ever Disney Junior Fun Fest is also coming to Disney California Adventure Park on April 29, a one-day celebration that will kick off with a cavalcade of beloved Disney Junior characters, in addition to a Disney Junior Dance Party and a “Spidey and his Amazing Friends” photo wall at the Hollywood Backlot.

If you’re about to go on your trip to Anaheim, make a stop of the Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival, happening until April 24, featuring interesting boysenberry dishes like crab sushi rolls with boysenberry aioli and a boysenberry rocky road brownie.