Americans select city lights for autumn getaways

Fri Oct 1, 2010 10:04am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - The economy may be still spinning its wheels, but more Americans are managing, or determined, to jumpstart an autumn getaway.

And many are headed for big U.S. cities, travel industry experts say.

Overall bookings for domestic cities in the United States are up 19 percent over last autumn, according to the latest consumer data from American Express Travel.

"Travel to New York City is up 18 percent from last year. That's a great statistic," said Audrey Hendley of American Express.

Other top destinations are Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Chicago.

"It's nice to see domestic vacations being so popular," Hendley added.

Data also showed consumers booking their trips further in advance. Sixty-plus and 90-plus day windows registered a 25 percent increase over last year.

"I think customers are feeling a little more confident in the economy," Hendley said. "They're spending a little more and booking a little earlier."   Continued...

<p>The Chicago skyline is subdued in this photo made May 29, 2001, as more than a dozen of downtown buildings, including 311 S. Wacker Dr. (far left) and the John Hancock Tower (far right) dim their lights in accordance with an environmental plan to keep birds from flying into downtown roofs. REUTERS/Sue Ogrocki</p>