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Where Everyone's Going Right Now (Can You Say, Aloha?) and Other Summer Travel Trends

Laura Begley Bloom
Executive Editor
May 30, 2014

Adobe is about to release its “Travel 2014 Report” and gave Yahoo Travel an exclusive sneak peek at the inside scoop on  how and where the world is traveling this summer. So what’s in store?

Travelers will be spending in droves: the Adobe Digital Index (ADI) predicts that figure could hit $61 billion between Memorial Day and Labor Day—a 15 percent increase from last year.

Adobe gathered its insights by analyzing 33 billion consumer visits to 1,300 branded travel websites across the globe and aggregating the data.

(Photo: Ed Yourdon / Flickr)

They also found that travelers will be relying on digital technology in record numbers. According to Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst, Adobe Digital Index, “this summer more travelers than ever will book trips online and turn to social media before, during, and after their vacations to share plans and pictures.”

And mobile is driving the charge, with bookings by smartphone up 121 percent since January 2013. Coupled with tablet bookings (up 48 percent) and gaming consoles (up 60 percent), you’re talking about a whole new way of travel planning. “The old way of booking by phone looks like it is becoming obsolete. Good news for industry margins since telephone bookings carry much higher expenses,” says Gaffney.

ADI also looked at digital bookings across the industry and found that online growth is highest among the airlines—up 28 percent—followed by online travel agencies (up 25 percent), car rental companies (up 25 percent), and hotels (up 23 percent).

(Photo: OlivierJD / Flickr)

“It is interesting to note the uptick in booking directly with airlines. This trend may be a signal that brand and loyalty is overtaking pricing as a key driver of choice with today’s connected traveler,” says Gaffney.

And when you’re talking mobile, the numbers get even more impressive, with smartphone bookings growing fastest in the hotel sector—up 114 percent since January 2013. Airline bookings were up 112 percent on tablets.

“The travel industry will see a record $61 billion in bookings largely as a result of the increase in booking from mobile devices, which are now fully outfitted with key travel applications and mobile friendly websites,” says Gaffney.

So where are people going? ADI took at look at that, too, using social mentions to track popularity. Hawaii ranked number one, with 1.1 million social mentions in one month alone. Here are ADI’s top six destinations this summer—and some great travel advice to take you there:

A beach in Oahu. (Photo: John Blacker / Flickr)

1. Hawaii. Check out Yahoo Travel’s pick for an affordable hotel in Maui, plus other great beach hotels for summer, here

2. Orlando. Check out amazing experiences in Disney, here

3. Las Vegas.  Check out Yahoo Travel’s guide to Las Vegas, here.

4. San Diego. Check out family resorts around San Diego, here.

5. San Francisco. Check out Yahoo Travel’s guide to San Francisco, here. 

6. New York City. Check out Yahoo Travel’s guide to New York, here.