Priceline CEO: Hot Springs, Arkansas, A Top Destination For Travel

Courtesy of "CBS This Morning."

(CBS) — The CEO of Priceline revealed during a “CBS This Morning” interview on Friday that the top “emerging travel” destination right now is none other than Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Brett Keller, CEO of the 20-year-old travel company, discussed the travel trends and destinations for 2018. He said smaller cities and urban areas are seeing a resurgence in tourism, and Hot Springs is topping that list.

A graphic depicting the Top Emerging Travel Cities showed Hot Springs as the number one destination in the country. Cleveland, Ohio, was second, with Durham, North Carolina, coming in third. Detroit, Michigan, and Deadwood, South Dakota, rounded out the top five.

“This year, in particular, we’re seeing an interesting rise in some urban locations, specifically in Detroit and Cleveland,” Keller said. He said those and other cities are going through a renaissance of urban culture.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, made Priceline’s list of top increases in bookings for Memorial Day weekend. The city has seen a 100 percent increase in bookings for Memorial Day weekend since 2017.

AAA said in a report Friday that vacations to smaller cities are seeing a resurgence, because people prefer to stay closer to home and enjoy “unique urban experiences.”

Most Americans will drive to their destinations this summer, despite expectations of higher gas prices, according to AAA. Two-thirds will drive to their destinations, AAA said.

Keller talked about the changes in the the travel industry since he began at the company 19 years ago.

“Back in 1998, when the website first launched, it would literally take you 45 minutes to go through the process of booking an airline ticket,” Keller said. “Today consumers can pick up a phone, fire up the Priceline app and book a hotel in a matter of seconds. It’s really significantly changed.”

That change has led to changes in how people travel. Rather than booking single destinations months in advance, people are using mobile apps to visit extra destinations during their vacations.

See the full “CBS This Morning” interview here.