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What’s new in snowbird travel? Trends, studies, news and advice

Travel, Snowbirds Photo
December 09, 2012 - 6 comments

Vegas, LA top snowbird flight destinations

Guess what is the number-one destination for passengers flying out of Canada’s largest airport?

By a large margin, the most air traffic in Canada each year goes through Toronto’s Pearson airport, and the top destination for those passengers in rankings compiled by Statistics Canada is New York City.

Flights between Vancouver and Los Angeles, and Toronto and Los Angeles, are the second and third busiest pairings.

Among snowbird destinations (excluding Los Angeles), the notes below represent the top volumes of total outbound and inbound traffic in terms of passengers between two cities focusing on snowbird destinations, according to numbers compiled by Statistics Canada for 2010.

• Las Vegas-Toronto, 8th pairing in terms of volume, 234,000 passengers
• Miami-Toronto, 9th, 232,000 passengers
• Ft. Lauderdale-Montreal, 10th, 229,000 passengers
• Ft. Lauderdale-Toronto, 11th, 217,000 passengers
• Orlando-Toronto, 12th, 209,000 passengers
• Miami-Montreal, 16th, 152,000 passengers
• Houston-Calgary, 18th, 138,000 passengers
• Tampa/St. Pete’s-Toronto, 19th, 135,000 passengers
• Orlando-Montreal, 20th, 133,000 passengers
• Dallas-Toronto, 21st, 132,000
• Phoenix-Toronto, 22nd, 131,000 passengers
• Hawaii-Vancouver, 23rd, 128,000 passengers
• Phoenix-Calgary, 24th, 125,000 passengers
• Atlanta-Toronto, 25th, 123,000 passengers
• Las Vegas-Montreal, 26th, 120,000 passengers

More flights to the Keys

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 4, visitors to Key West can take advantage of Southwest Airlines’ nonstop jet service between Orlando and Tampa, Fla., and the island city. Southwest Airlines will assume the flights to the island city currently operated by its subsidiary AirTran Airways.

Southwest plans to operate one daily nonstop round-trip flight between Key West and Orlando, and one daily nonstop round-trip flight between Key West and Tampa Bay on Boeing 737 aircraft.

For more information visit

Canadians love Orlando

Last year was record-breaking for Orlando, with final 2011 visitation numbers revealing that Orlando welcomed 55.1-million visitors, up 7.2 per cent from last year’s record-setting 51.4-million and 1.5 per cent over the previous forecast of 54.3-million visitors.
Total domestic visitation accounted for 51.3-million visitors, a 7.5-per-cent increase over 2010 and a record for any U.S. destination.

International travel totalled 3.8-million, an increase of 3.5 per cent from 2010. Canada continues to be Orlando’s top international market, breaking the one-million-visitor mark for the first time, an increase of 5.7 per cent. Overall, 1,015,000 Canadians visited in 2011, compared to 960,000 in 2010 (a 5.7-per-cent increase). Next best was the United Kingdom at 767,000.

Transat unveils new Florida programs

Transat Holidays new Florida program is now out featuring two new offerings.

The Transat Holidays Home & Condo Collection is designed for family vacations while Transat’s Experience Collection Duos focuses on St. Petersburg Beach, Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach and New Smyrna Beach.

Those booking by Oct. 31 for departures between Nov. 15 and April 30, 2013 receive:
• a deposit of $150 instead of $250;

• the opportunity to change the travel date up to 21 days before departure;

• free upgrade to Option Plus or CanJet Select when booking a Walt Disney World Resort (Deluxe or Moderate) or Florida Holiday Homes package.

Among other destinations featured in this year’s Florida Collection brochure are Panama City Beach, Destin and Fort Walton Beach, added to the list of cities where Transat Holidays clients can book a la carte vacations (hotels, condos, homes and rental cars): Orlando, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Indian Shores, Treasure Island, North Redington Beach, New Smyrna, Daytona, Cocoa Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach, Miami and Key Largo. Several cruises departing from Florida are also available.

Allegiant flies Niagara to Punta Gorda, Fort Lauderdale

Allegiant has begun low-cost, nonstop flights between Niagara Falls, NY and the Southwest Florida coast, via Punta Gorda Airport. The new flights operate twice weekly between Niagara Falls International Airport and Punta Gorda Airport.

Allegiant had previously announced nonstop service between Niagara Falls, NY and Fort Lauderdale. Punta Gorda will be the fourth nonstop Florida destination served by Allegiant out of Niagara Falls International Airport. Allegiant also has nonstop service to Orlando and St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla.

Ottawa to SW Florida on Westjet

WestJet airlines will inaugurate Saturday flights between Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers and Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport on Dec. 22, 2012. The seasonal service will be the Florida airport’s first nonstop route to the nation’s capital.

Canadian long-haul trips (USA excluded)

Where else are snowbirds flying besides the U.S.A.? Statistics Canada stats for 2009, the latest year for which figures are available, tracked long-haul flights for Canadians to nations aside from the USA. Cuba was the top destination with 915,000 plane trips from Canada, and the Dominican Republic was number four on the list.

Source: Visit Florida 2012-13 Marketing Plan


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