Travel website says summer interest high in Las Vegas

Tourists walk along the Strip in this April 28, 2011, file photo.

Recent searches on travel websites might be an indication that the summer visitor forecast for Las Vegas is heating up.

Las Vegas was the most searched destination for hotels for summer travel on, a price-comparison travel website. The city accounted for 7.36 percent of the search share, or 228,818 searches, on Kayak from March 1 to May 25 for travel from June to August.

The search engine returned an average hotel rate of $130.22 from June to August, a 2 percent drop over last year. Hotel rates peak in July at $131.87, according to rates returned from Kayak.

Travelers are also finding deals on airfare to Las Vegas. Airfare is down from several major cities for summer travel to Las Vegas, according to Kayak.

The biggest drop in airfare for June through August was for travel from San Francisco with a 61 percent drop from last year and an average price of $230. Portland, Ore., follows with a 53 percent drop and an average ticket price of $248, followed by Denver at 41 percent with a ticket price of $212.

The smallest drop in airfare was 2 percent to both Minneapolis and Tampa, Fla., with average ticket prices of $348 and $265, respectively. Overall, Las Vegas ranks at No. 3 on Kayak’s list of the most searched destinations in the last month, behind New York and Los Angeles. The top five originating cities of those traveling to Las Vegas, according to Kayak, are Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington.

Luxor is the most searched Las Vegas hotel on Kayak for the month, followed by MGM Grand, Excalibur, Circus Circus and the Venetian, showing that many travelers are looking for budget-friendly hotels for summer travel. Pricey resorts such as Wynn Las Vegas, Cosmopolitan and Aria didn’t break Kayak’s top 10 for the month.

Las Vegas also ranked high on another travel booking website’s top summer destination list, despite being bumped by a more family-friendly vacation spot. The city trailed Orlando, Fla., and took the No. 2 spot on Orbitz’s 2011 summer travel index, after holding the top spot for the past two years.

According Orbitz, Las Vegas hotel rates average about $89 a night, despite a 7 percent rise in prices from last year. Las Vegas still had the lowest room rates of any city on the list.

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