Travel volumes for the Thanksgiving holiday will be significantly depressed compared to recent years, Allianz said. But those who do travel are likely headed to Mexico.
Allianz reviewed travel plans for flights leaving U.S. airports from Nov. 21 to Dec. 1. The company analyzed 632,757 itineraries, which it said was about on par with other industry estimations that Thanksgiving travel was down about 75% compared with the same period last year (in 2019, Allianz’s Thanksgiving travel report analyzed 2.4 million itineraries).
This year, the top international destinations were all in Mexico: Cancun, San Jose Del Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, respectively.
“Always a popular destination, Mexico has been a leader in tourism recovery since Covid-19 began — the country’s accessibility and safety protocols like restricted capacity at resorts to enable proper social distancing may be helping to drive demand along with the promise of a warm weather escape,” Allianz said.
The remainder of the top international destinations Allianz found were Oranjestad, Aruba; Santo Domingo, Santiago and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Provindenciales, Turks and Caicos; and Havana, Cuba.
Notably missing from the list this year were popular European destinations like London and Paris — which regularly cracked the top five for Thanksgiving travel in recent years — due to Covid-19-related travel restrictions.
Domestically, New York fell from the No. 1 spot, which it has held since 2016, to No. 2, supplanted by Seattle. Los Angeles landed in spot No. 3, followed by Dallas, Boston, Orlando, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Las Vegas.
Allianz said the day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, Nov. 25, will be the busiest departure day for domestic destinations. Saturday, Nov. 21, is the most popular departure date for those with international destinations.
Lori Calavan, Allianz Partners’ senior medical consultant, encouraged those traveling this Thanksgiving to bring extra masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers with them, and to check the CDC’s website regularly for guidelines.