With summer officially here, First Data has taken a look at spending data to identify the fastest growing summer vacation destinations in the U.S. – and the results might surprise you. While you may think of the sunny beaches of Florida or Southern California when you think of summer travel destinations, the report shows northern cities including Chicago (2.7%), Seattle (4%), Boston (9.6%) and even smaller markets like Providence, RI (12.1%) enjoyed significant YOY growth in summer travel spending from 2016 to 2017.
First Data’s SpendTrend Report – a macro-economic indicator based on aggregate same store sales activity across the 1.3 million merchant locations First Data processes transactions for in the U.S. – revealed the following travel and leisure spending trends across the U.S. for the 2017 summer travel season:
- While not internationally renowned as a vacation destination, Providence, RI, enjoyed the highest YOY increase in summer travel spending of any U.S. city at 12.1%. Providence was also the fastest growing market for international visitors, with 15% YOY growth in international spending from 2016 to 2017. The city was also a favorite summer travel destination among foodies, with a nation-high 20.6% YOY increase in restaurant spending in 2017 (compared to a 5.5% increase nationally).
- Myrtle Beach was the number one fastest growing market for hotel spending during the summer months, with a 14.2% YOY increase in 2017, while Seattle boasted the most expensive summer hotel visits with an average ticket price of $405 per hotel purchase.
- Milwaukee saw the highest increase in the travel spending category in 2017 at 8.4%.
- Nationwide, restaurants enjoyed the highest YOY growth across all summer travel and leisure spending categories at 5.5%.
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