Tokyo
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Tokyo
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Tops in Travel

In the popularity contest among globetrotters, New York City appears to be clear winner, with more flight searches for it conducted on travel site Hipmunk than for any other city in 2019. At Cheapism's request, Hipmunk analyzed flight searches on its site over the past year to identify the most-visited cities around the globe, and communications manager Kelly Soderlund says there was another clear trend: Low-cost carriers and more route openings have made once-aspirational destinations beyond U.S. borders far more accessible, moving them higher up this list each year.

Related: The Most-Visited Tourist Destinations of the Past Decade

New York City
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New York City

It's no surprise New York City tops the Hipmunk list for 2019 — the city was breaking records for visitors last year too. According to NYC & Co. (the city's destination marketing organization), a staggering 65.2 million people visited, 51.6 million from within the United States and 13.5 million from abroad. It was the ninth straight year of growth, and as of August of this year, the city was on target to reach 67 million visitors.

Related: 15 Types of People Who Shouldn't Visit New York City

Los Angeles
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Los Angeles

Los Angeles holds its own in the competition to attract travelers, ranking in second place among flight searches on Hipmunk for 2019. Like New York City's stellar ranking, the top slot is not entirely surprising. Last year the city recorded an annual 50 million visitors for the first time, two years ahead of ambitious tourism goals. It was also the eighth consecutive year of visitation growth for L.A.

Related: The Best of California For Budget Vacations

San Francisco
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San Francisco

San Francisco was the third-ranked city for 2019 in Hipmunk flight searches, up three slots since 2018. Like the top two cities, San Francisco broke records for visitation last year with 25.8 million visitors, the ninth consecutive year of growth. The San Francisco Travel Association predicted that this year the city would see 26.5 million visitors.

Related: 20 Free and Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco

Chicago
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Chicago

Coming in fourth for 2019 flight searches on Hipmunk, Chicago has also been on something of a streak, with visitors flooding into the city at record levels last year. Tourism data from Choose Chicago pegged the figure at around 57.6 million, a 4.3% increase over 2017.

Related: The Best Cities in America for People Who Love Food

Las Vegas
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Las Vegas

Sin City continues to have a special place in the heart of travelers far and wide. It was the fifth-most popular city of 2019 among Hipmunk flight searches, on target this year to reach about 42 million visitors.

Related: 22 Must-See Vegas Attractions That Aren't on the Strip

London
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London

Hipmunk data shows that London inched up eight slots in 2019 among flight searches. Data from VisitBritain projects as many as 38.9 million visitors this year, an increase of 3% over 2018 for attractions from the O2 Arena and London Eye to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

Orlando, Florida
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Orlando, Florida

The amusement park capital of Florida, Orlando was the seventh-most popular search on Hipmunk this year. The city's tourism officials reported a record 75 million visitors in 2018, a 4.2% increase over the previous year. Orlando attracted 35 million visitors in just the first three months of the year, a first in the city's history, according to Visit Florida.

Boston, Massachusetts
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Boston

The eighth-most popular flight search destination for 2019, Boston has been growing in popularity. In 2018, about 21.8 million people visited the Boston region, including about 2.6 million international arrivals. Those figures were expected to rise 7% this year, reaching 23.5 million.

Related: The Best Things To Do In Boston

Denver, Colorado
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Denver

Coming in ninth in flight search popularity in 2019, Denver has been experiencing an uptick in visitors for several years. The city recorded more than 31 million visitors in 2018, the third straight year of growth. Though 2019 figures are not yet available, it's no surprise the Mile-High City ranked so well in flight searches for the year.

Washington, D.C.
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Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital rounds out the top 10, with visitation levels growing for a few years. In 2018, a record 23.8 million people came, according to Destination D.C. — that's the ninth year of record visitation.

Related: 24 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Washington, D.C.

Miami
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Miami

Miami officials projected record visitation this year, so it's no surprise the city nearly made Hipmunk's top 10. Last year, the sun-drenched Florida destination recorded 16.5 million visitors, a 3.5% increase from 2017. Officials expected visitation numbers to be even higher for 2019.

Related: 30 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Miami

Seattle
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Seattle

Twelfth-ranked Seattle is experiencing a wave of historic visitation levels. The 40.9 million people coming to the city and greater Kings County in 2018 was a 2.5% increase over the prior year, the ninth year in a row setting records.

Paris
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Paris

The second-highest ranked international city on the list at number 13, Paris provides another example of once-aspirational cities becoming more popular among American travelers. The city maintains its popularity despite yellow vest protests and rallies (a populist political movement) taking place regularly — last year reached a high of about 90 million foreign visitors.

Related: 36 Cheap or Free Things to Do in Paris

Phoenix
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Phoenix

Back in the United States, Phoenix fills the No. 14 slot for flight search volume. The nation's fifth-largest city, Phoenix sees about 22 million tourists annually, according to Visit Phoenix.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The second-most searched city in Florida, Fort Lauderdale slid down two notches in overall rank this year, according to Hipmunk. Still, last year about 36 million domestic and international tourists passed through the city, and it recorded about 13 million overnight hotel visitors.

San Diego
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San Diego

The ever-popular Southern California county of San Diego ranks 16th in flight search volume, hosting about 35.8 million visitors each year. Last year was its eighth in a row of growth in visitation arrivals, and it aims for even more this year.

Honolulu
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Honolulu

Coming at 17th for flight searches is Honolulu, the gateway to the Hawaiian Islands. According to the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, the islands as a whole welcomed about 9.9 million people last year, with the island of Hawaii alone getting about 1.7 million (the data does not specify how many visitors there were for just Honolulu) despite the eruption of the Kilauea volcano.

Related: The Best of Hawaii on a Budget

Atlanta
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Atlanta

Atlanta is 18th for flight searches this year, three slots lower than its 2018 rank despite being home to such attractions as the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta History Center, and Olympic Centennial Park. In 2018 about 56 million people visited.

Tokyo
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Portland, Oregon
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Portland, Oregon

Rounding out the top 20 in flight search volume, Portland counted about 8.7 million overnight trips last year — the ninth straight year of growth in visitation and travel spending for this picturesque Pacific Northwest destination.

Dallas
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Dallas

About 27 million people come annually to Dallas, 21st for flight search volume on Hipmunk this year — and a five-slot drop from last year. The metropolitan city is home to such attractions as the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated) and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Related: In Full Bloom: Beautiful Botanical Gardens in All 50 States

Austin, Texas
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Austin, Texas

Dubbed the live music capital of the world, Austin is 22nd in flight search volume and draws about 27.4 million people annually, according to Visit Austin.

Related: 36 Bucket-List Destinations for Music Lovers

New Orleans
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New Orleans

The Big Easy dropped three slots this year to 23rd most-searched flight destination, according to Hipmunk data, though it has experienced several years of record visitation growth. More than 18 million globetrotters came last year, a 9% increase over 2017.

Related: 26 Best Cheap Or Free Things To Do In New Orleans

Cancún, Mexico
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Cancun, Mexico

The highest-ranked Mexican tourist destination among Hipmunk flight searches, Cancun is a perennially popular beach getaway, particularly among the spring break crowd. Coming in 24th in flight search volume is an eight-slot increase over 2018, but the destination saw its first decline in year-over-year international arrivals in January — the first such decrease for any month in nearly seven years. At least one tourism expert attributed the decrease to headline-grabbing homicide rates in the state where Cancun is located.

Related: 25 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Cancún

Philadelphia
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Philadelphia

Philadelphia dropped one slot from last year in Hipmunk's rankings, landing at No. 25 for 2019. That aside, Philadelphia's tourism volume has been setting records for nine consecutive years, and last year the five-county area that includes the City of Brotherly Love attracted 45 million visitors.

Houston
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Houston

Houston declined five slots in Hipmunk flight volume searches for 2019, but the city experienced several years of growth leading up to this year. In 2018, for instance, about 22.3 million people visited, and by 2025 the city expects to have about 25 million visitors annually.

Related: 30 Cities Where Today's College Grads Can Actually Make a Living

Tampa, Florida
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Tampa, Florida

Tampa dropped a full 10 slots from last year to 27th in flight search volume. About 23.6 million people visited Tampa/Hillsborough County in 2018, according to a report from Visit Tampa Bay — a 3.1% increase over 2017 and a 39% increase since 2009. Both overnight visitors and day visitors had ticked up for the destination in 2018.

Related: The 25 Best Cities to Visit With Your Dog

Rome
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Rome

Clearly the most popular city in Italy, at least among Americans, Rome ranks 28th in Hipmunk's flight search volume, a seven-slot increase over 2018. The incredibly popular city, home to the Vatican, the Colosseum, and more, attracted about 9.7 million visitors last year.

Related: 25 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Rome

Newark, New Jersey
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Newark, New Jersey

Newark is not typically seen as a tourist destination itself, but as a gateway airport for New York City, and it's dropped four slots in flight searches to 29th for the year. Still the city is home to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and a sprawling premium outlet mall, The Outlet Collection, Jersey Gardens, and on its own attracts 18 million visitors each year.

Minneapolis
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Minneapolis

Filling the No. 30 slot in flight search popularity, Minneapolis is home to such cultural landmarks as the Guthrie Theater and Minneapolis Institute of Art. The Minneapolis/St. Paul region recorded 34.5 million visitors last year, a 3.7% increase over 2017.

Related: 18 Places to 'Travel Abroad' Without Leaving the Country

Toronto
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Toronto

Toronto — home of the Royal Ontario Museum, Ripley's Aquarium, Toronto Island, and Kensington Market — is the most popular Canadian city for Americans to search, and inched up three slots from 2018.

Related: 30 Best Summer Travel Destinations in Canada

Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona, Spain

Spain's cosmopolitan city of Barcelona climbed a whopping 13 slots this year over 2018 in Hipmunk flight search volume. The city, legendary for its architecture, particularly the many landmarks designed by Gaudi, has in fact been dealing with overtourism in recent years. In 2018 the city continued to be a tourist magnet, with more than 8 million people staying in its hotels — an increase of 5.2% from one year earlier. By comparison, in 1990, there were just 1.7 million overnight visitors.

Related: 24 Beautiful Destinations Threatened By Overtourism — and Where to Go Instead

San Juan, Puerto Rico
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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Making its comeback since Hurricane Maria pummeled the island two years ago, San Juan climbed four slots in Hipmunk's 2019 flight search volume to 33rd this year and is recording all-time high levels of visitation. The island as a whole saw about 4 million visitors annually in recent years, and was on track to surpass that figure for 2019: For just the first six months of the year, local tourism officials reported a 62.3% increase in visitation.

Related: 30 Things You Didn't Know About Puerto Rico

Mexico City
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Mexico City

The second-highest ranked Mexican destination on this list, Mexico City is up 15 slots from last year in flight search volume, when the city anticipated a record 41 million visitors. Popular attractions in the city include the National Museum of Anthropology and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious site dating back to 1531.

Related: 10 Amazing Day of the Dead Celebrations Around the World

Nashville, Tennessee
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Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, legendary for its country music scene, rounds out the top 35 destinations in flight search volume for 2019. The city has been breaking visitation records in recent years, but still dropped seven slots from 2018 when it had 15.2 million visitors — a nearly 5% increase over the previous year. In 2019, 20 hotel properties are slated to open in Music City, yet another sign of its rapidly growing tourism sector.