Travelzoo’s top 5 deal destinations for 2016

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Travelzoo has announced their top 5 Wow Deal Destinations for 2016. These destinations are where Travelzoo deal experts believe Americans will get the best cost-saving travel opportunities in the coming year.  The 2016 Wow Deal destinations are: Norway, Cuba, New York City, Canada, and Puerto Vallarta.

Norway: 2016 is the year to make travelers’ Frozen fantasy a reality with the help of new airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle. The award-winning, low-cost carrier has made a once remote destination easily accessible by flying non-stop from seven U.S. cities to Scandinavia.  Travelers can find fares from New York to Oslo for as low as $144 each way. And while Norwegian Air Shuttle continues to have the lowest fares, many legacy airlines have dropped their rates to compete with the newcomer. Norway also offers travelers a great starting point for exploring mainland Europe – book a flight with a layover in Oslo and then head to London, Paris or Barcelona. And, 2016 marks the end of the Northern Lights 11-year cycle, which happens to be the best time to see the lights.

Cuba: Located just 90 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida – a quick 45-minute flight, Cuba is the hottest, must-see destination for 2016. Travel searches for Cuba increased by 205% in 2015 compared to 2014 making now the time to go before even bigger crowds follow. And as the Obama administration reduces travel restrictions, more vacation companies are launching aggressive deals to entice travelers. Packages that cost $3,000 last year are now priced at $1,599 – a 47% decrease for 2016 travel dates. The increase in demand is also increasing the number of cruise offerings, people-to-people tours and charter flights. The tour operator, Group IST will add a second ship to its fleet in December 2015 and American Airlines, Delta Airlines and JetBlue Airways have added flights from the U.S. to Cuba resulting in lower fares. Flights still must be booked through a third party, but the process is now easier and travelers have more options.

Puerto Vallarta: As the Mexican peso continues to plunge against the U.S. dollar the pressure is on for resorts to lure American travelers. Additionally, Puerto Vallarta is rebounding from security warnings issued by U.S. Department of State, making the west coast city work harder for market share from east coast hotspots like Riviera Maya and Cancun.  With five new hotel openings in 2015 and two more in 2016, travelers can anticipate nightly rates at 4-star resorts to average $147 for peak season dates and $81 for low season dates – an 18% decrease from 2013. Finally, on January 1, 2016 the U.S. and Mexico will update their bilateral aviation agreement (2005) to permit more airlines to service U.S.- Mexico routes.  The current agreement has a 3-carrier limit for 14 specific destinations. The new agreement will allow an unlimited number of carriers to serve any U.S.- Mexico city pair, which will effectively increase inventory and deals to gain market share.

New York: The Big Apple, a historically expensive city, has seen a sharp decline in hotel, airfare and attraction prices due to two factors: (1) a decrease in international travelers and (2) an increase in lodging options. As inbound travel from Europe and South America continues to decline due to the strong dollar, hotels and tourist attractions in New York are dropping rates by 60%. In 2013, the average daily rate for a New York City hotel was $290; travelers can now find a 4-star Times Square hotel for as low as $109 per night for January through March 2016 stays. Additionally 30,000 hotel rooms have been added in the last 7 years. Couple the increase in hotel room with an additional 16,000 vacation home rentals and nightly rates will continue to decline.

Canada: Americans can trade skiing in Vail for skiing in Banff this winter, as the strong U.S. dollar effectively puts a 25% sale sticker on travel to Canada. Travelers can expect to find Vancouver 4-start hotels for $76 per night during winter and $168 per night during summer and Toronto 4-star hotels for $89 per night during winter and $150 per night during summer. Travelzoo deal experts have also seen fares from New York to Toronto as low as $80 each way – an 18% year-over-year decrease.

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