It's been a great year few months for Miami. In May, the city announced that international visitors to the area generated a record $11 billion in economic impact in 2009. Then Lebron James decided to join the Miami Heat, which could add about $500 to $600 million to the region. This week, Match.com, in a partnership with Southwest Airlines, named Miami the best destination for summer travelers seeking eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, receiving received more than 43 percent of the votes.
Good for Miami. We're happy for them. But what other destinations can agents suggest to their single clients? Not surprisingly, one of the most popular interests on Match.com's user profiles is traveling, with more than 80 percent of Match.com's single users listing travel as an interest. So let's give some other areas some attention.
A fair amount of those surveyed (40.5 percent) said Honolulu is the most romantic city in United States. Other popular singles summer beach destinations from the survey included Key West in Florida (17.2 percent); Manhattan Beach, in California (12.1 percent); South Padre Island of Texas (10.1 percent); Waikiki Beach in Hawaii (9.3 percent); and the Hamptons, NY (7.5 percent)
As much as this data may foster ideas as to where to send partner-less travelers, extra information hints agents should keep their eye on ideal couples destinations as well. More than 60 percent of singles surveyed would vacation with a partner after only three months of dating, and 67 percent say they would prefer to travel with someone they are dating versus family, friends or alone. Meanwhile, 12.5 percent of singles say they would share a hotel room after only one week of dating. Nothing heats a relationship up like travel, right?
Personally speaking, I can vouche for South Padre Island, TX after recently reuniting with a high school buddy who has lived near the area for years now. His girlfriend is gorgeous, sweet and down-to-earth (way to go Nick!). I've also had many friends say Austin, TX is a well-kept secret for single guys (sorry to let the cat out of the bag there fellas).
As for the Hamptons on Long Island in New York, I lived and worked there for a few years, and didn't have much success. It probably has to do something with the fact that I worked for a local magazine and couldn't afford much of the attractive singles scene, or so I tell myself. Still, it turned out to be a great vacation spot years later when I took my then-girlfriend (now wife) to the beaches of Montauk (which I think is better than Coopers Beach in Southampton, named the best beach in the United States by Dr. Beach). Thanks to that beach hamlet at the end of Long Island, she's now all mine.
We'd like agents to tell us the regions that have garnered the most interest among their eligble clients, where they would send said eligible clients, and where they would send those partaking in the blossoming stages of a relationship.
Share your thoughts by posting a comment below. Send a tweet to our Twitter page (@travelagentmag). Join the discussion thread at AgentNation. Write us at our Facebook page. Not only will your feedback help other agents and clients, it just may contribute to more in depth coverage at Travel Agent.
At our Facebook page this Jaenine StHill commented on the best cities for singles, saying:
Las Vegas and Miami. I just back from Miami-South Beach. Great time to be had.
Of course on Las Vegas! What happens there, stays there right? In case something that does happen there (i.e. single traveler meets another single traveler) doesn't end there (as the relationship develops), other agents at our Facebook page have suggestions as to where they can go.
Mari Jo suggests:
Riviera Maya - beautiful beaches, jungle, cenotes, Mayan ruins, great restaurants - the perfect setting for adventure, fun and romance!
Grace DeVita added:
I'd recommend somewhere like The Resort at Paws Up...you can get romantic seclusion and adventure at the same time and really see what your better half is made of..