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|The Orbitz Insider Index Unveils Top U.S. Halloween Travel Destinations for 2005|
Leading Online Travel Company Also Highlights Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. as Best Undiscovered U.S. Halloween DestinationCHICAGO - October 12, 2005 - Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), the faster, easier way to find the trip you want, today released the second edition of The Orbitz Insider Index, a monthly, in-depth look at travel trends from an industry insider's perspective. From Halloween hotspots to haunted hotels, Orbitz has its finger on the pulse of the travel industry and has the information to put a little spook in the step of travelers this Halloween weekend.
"We've identified U.S. markets for which Halloween weekend advance bookings indicate the heaviest travel volume," said Heather Leisman, director of merchandizing for Orbitz. "Halloween celebrations are extremely popular, and Orbitz has matched these cities with some of the spookiest and most entertaining nearby events as a service to travelers."
Orbitz also released its "Staff Insider Picks," in categories including, "Spookiest Hotel," "Best Halloween Ball" and "Best Halloween Parade." Topping the list by earning "Best Undiscovered U.S. Halloween Destination," was Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., located approximately 30 miles north of New York City.
Sleepy Hollow was immortalized by author Washington Irving in his 19th century short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and plays host to a range of "Legend Weekend" activities during Halloween weekend. At Philipsburg Manor, a National Historic Landmark, the grounds are transformed into a haunted landscape - lit by candle lanterns and bonfires, and populated by witches, ghouls, pirates and other characters from Hudson Valley folklore. The Headless Horseman himself gallops on a ghostly black steed, and there are dramatic retellings of The Legend.
Halloween Weekend Hotspots
The Orbitz Insider Index reviews an aggregate mix of future bookings (flight and hotel), indicating significant destination and departure trend information within the data. The most popular travel destinations over Halloween weekend this year according to The Orbitz Insider Index are:
| ||The Orbitz Insider Index: Top U.S. Halloween Weekend Destinations for 2005|
|1 ||Las Vegas|
|3 ||Washington, D.C.|
|5 ||Fort Lauderdale|
|7 ||New Orleans**|
|8 ||New York|
**Note: Due to bookings prior to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is listed as No. 7. However, this is not reflective of actual travel to New Orleans since the Hurricane.
Parties, Parades and Events
Travelers headed to the destinations on The Orbitz Insider Index can enjoy a range of colorful parades, haunted landscapes and events ranging from spooky to racy. Sin City tops the list by offering a variety of options including The Haunted Vegas Tour and Show, which includes a guided tour of Las Vegas' most infamous locations, including the sites of legendary murders, to the 4th Annual Saints and Sinners Halloween Ball at Light, the nightclub at Bellagio.
Theme parks pull out all the stops during Halloween, and visitors to Orlando, Orbitz's #2 Halloween weekend destination, can enjoy attractions such as "Halloween Horror Nights"® *, at Universal Orlando. In Washington D.C., visitors can hike through Markoff's Haunted Forest, a haunted horror trail just outside the city. In Chicago, a tour of Graceland Cemetery, one of the city's oldest and most famous cemeteries, is not to be missed. Daley Plaza also plays host to a variety of "Chicagoween" activities throughout Halloween weekend. Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. offers a special event for kids and kids at heart, called the "Gross-Out Science" Halloween Event, at The Museum of Discovery and Science, featuring haunted labs, face painting and more.
Families are also the center of attention in Phoenix this Halloween, where "Boo at the Zoo" offers children the opportunity to become a zoo detective for the day. New York City, eighth on the Orbitz Insider Index, offers one of the country's most flamboyant and entertaining events. Selected by Orbitz as a staff insider pick for "Best U.S. Halloween Parade," the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade features large-scale paper-mache puppets, ethnic costumes, drag ensembles and many other creative sights accompanied by 42 bands playing a variety of music. Visitors to New York City can also travel less than an hour north to the village of Sleepy Hollow, referenced above as another staff insider pick for "Best Undiscovered U.S. Halloween Destination."
Atlanta presents Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade, which includes a pumpkin carving contest, while in Denver, it won't be the altitude leaving visitors breathless, it will be the thrills and chills of the "Reinke Bros. Haunted Mansion", the area's oldest haunted venue, located in nearby Littleton. Visitors to Denver may also choose to spend one night outside of the city, in Estes Park, CO, if they dare. The Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, earned the Orbitz staff insider pick for "Spookiest U.S. Hotel." Well known for its inspirational role in Steven King's novel, The Shining, the hotel is set in the Rocky Mountains and still hosts the spirits of its original owners, F.O. and Flora Stanley. Most disturbances are reported on the fourth floor, where the sounds of children playing are heard, even when no children are present.
Boston rounds out the most popular Halloween destinations with the Castle of the Damned Tour at Hammond Castle Museum, a creepy tour in a haunted castle just outside Beantown. Visitors to Boston may also wish to reserve time for a trip to a legendary Halloween destination - Salem, MA, only 15 miles from the city. Salem, home to the infamous witch trials of the 17th century, plays host to a range of truly spooky activities, including The Festival of the Dead and The Official Salem Witches Halloween Ball.
Where the Deals Are
To celebrate these fall festivities, Orbitz is offering consumers a $50 coupon for use towards a 3-night minimum stay at any of its OrbitzSaver hotels in Las Vegas, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Key West. For coupon Terms and Conditions, visit: http://www.orbitz.com/App/ViewHotelCouponLP?coupon_id=8136&deal_id=hotel_deals_50_coupon_1005.
* "Halloween Horror Nights" is a registered trademark of Universal Studios.
Orbitz is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website www.orbitz.com to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and 16 car rental companies. Orbitz was acquired by Cendant's Travel Distribution Services division in November 2004 and is part of the Consumer Travel Americas group.
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