Can you ever fall out of love with Paris?  Probably not. But, while COVID-19 stalks the world, Los Angeles, California has replaced the French capital as the No. 1 choice of US users of Lonely Planet’s Guides App.

Travel restrictions for the last six months have meant that US travelers have to stick closer to home, so while the City of Lights was the most downloaded destination from March to September 2019, it has been replaced by the City of Angels in the same period of 2020. Paris has dropped from No. 1 to No. 13 on the app which features over 8000 city guides and 352,000 places.

The domestic travel trend is reflected in research by travel marketing company MMGY whose survey of American adults reveals that over 60% are likely to stay in the USA on vacation this year. New York follows Los Angeles as the second most popular 2020 Guides App destination and Portland, Oregon – one of the locations for this summer's Black Lives Matter protests – comes in a close third.

portlandstatue_1.jpg
 Statue of former mayor of Portland, Vera Katz, fitted with a mask © Shutterstock / Barry Savage

However, the European cities of Barcelona, London, Rome and Amsterdam have all dropped out of the Top 10 and Tokyo, Japan has dropped from No. 10 in 2019 to not feature at all in the Top 20 for 2020.

Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas make an appearance in the top 10 most downloaded destinations for the first time, as people explore the great outdoors and remote areas more in a pandemic era.

500px Photo ID: 115813359 - Barton Creek is 5 minutes from downtown Austin and is connect to Lady Bird Lake.  Downtown Austin, Texas.
Barton Creek connects to Lady Bird Lake, downtown Austin, Texas © T Atkins / 500px

US travelers’ most downloaded cities from March–September 2020:
1. LA
2. NYC
3. Portland
4. San Francisco
5. Denver

In 2019, US travelers were looking further afield and their most popular destinations were:
1. Paris
2. New York
3. Barcelona
4. London
5. Rome

Miami, Charleston, Savannah, West Yellowstone and Hawaii all feature for the first time in the 2020 Top 20 most downloaded destinations.

European users of the Lonely Planet Guides App have voted Venice as the No. 1 most downloaded city in 2020, up from No. 13 in March to September 2019. It is followed by Paris, Berlin, Rome and Amsterdam. But no US destinations made it into the European users’ Top 20 in 2020.

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