It seems that Americans want something different from their holidays this year. Asia is out, and so is Europe. Instead, Americans are looking for white-sand beaches, tropical climates and stress-free holidays closer to home. According to Skyscanner, which looked at users’ travel searches over the course of a year, six of the top 10 trending destinations are island hotspots, with the Cayman Islands leading the way.
The Cayman Islands, which saw a 483 per cent increase in searches compared to the same period last year, was the notable standout. Located south of Cuba between Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea, the three Cayman Islands are just an hour’s flight from Miami and have non-stop flights from most major US cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Denver. English is the official language and US dollars are widely accepted, as is the local Cayman Islands dollar.
The three Cayman Islands include Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The former is known for its luxury resorts and iconic Seven Mile Beach, while Cayman Brac is popular for deep-sea fishing and Little Cayman is a mecca for the scuba diving community.
“It’s clear that US travellers crave island adventure, especially the tropical climate and white sands of the Caribbean,” says the Skyscanner report.
So what do Americans do once they arrive at these island hotspots? According to Skyscanner, historical tours and sampling local food top the list of holiday activities, with a whopping 45 per cent of users choosing a destination based on its culinary offerings, along with attractions and weather.
The Cayman Islands were followed by French Polynesia with a 227 per cent increase in searches year on year. The ranking then included two destinations in Japan – Osaka and Tokyo – before the US Virgin Islands, Bermuda, St Maarten and Oranjestad in Aruba. The only European destination to make the cut was Bucharest, Romania in 6th place.
5.US Virgin Islands
The report looked at searches from the US between 8 July 2022 and 8 July 2023, and compared them to the same period the previous year. The top 10 destinations reflect those with the largest year-on-year increase in searches.