Airlines and holiday trends open up more options to US

Airlines are blazing a trail to lesser-known corners of the US and having an impact on trends for 2019, according to Brand USA.

“Following a long list of new flight launches in 2018, 2019 will see airlines strengthening their routes and increasing flight regularity,” said tourism marketing agency.

British Airways’ service from Heathrow to Nashville (pictured) will be increased from three times a week to daily in summer 2019, while Delta’s Heathrow-Portland four-times-weekly operation will become a daily flight.

In March 2019, Virgin Atlantic will introduce a double-daily service for the UK’s shortest transatlantic route between Heathrow and Boston.

Brand USA is also seeing more affordable family holidays in the US thanks to low-cost airlines such as Norwegian Air and Wow Air.

Norwegian has increased its capacity to Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Wow Air will fly a seasonal service to Orlando between December 2018 and April 2019.

Brand USA tips activity holidays for growth in 2019, including campervan tours; horse riding; surfing; and ‘packrafting’ – travelling by an inflatable raft that folds away into a backpack.

RV and campervan trips have been boosted by the #vanlife hashtags on Instagram, while surfing has been riding a wave since it was recognised as an official sport in the 2020 Olympics.

Meanwhile, food halls are becoming trendy places to eat, thanks partly to the likes of Time Out Market, which has opened in Miami, New York, Chicago and will open in Boston in 2019.

Brand USA expects solo travel will continue to increase in popularity, with more companies and hotel groups catering for the sector – including Busabout’s hop-on-hop-off coach trips, and new hostels that don’t charge a single supplement.

Other sectors tipped for success include music-themed tours – boosted by BA’s new service to Nashville – and the luxury market.

Next year, the upmarket hotel sector will see the opening of Nobu Chicago and the Hoxton Chicago while Nashville will see the launch of Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels Nashville, and Margaritaville Nashville Hotel.

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