CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The 2014 travel hotspots will reflect interest in major sporting events that will drive visitors to winter resorts inspired by the Winter Olympics as well as destinations like New York and Brazil, hosting the Super Bowl and World Cup, respectively. Additionally, the bright outlook for the economy will spur more luxury-style vacations, according to this year's Orbitz Look Ahead Insider Index, compiled by Orbitz global team of travel experts and editors. 2014 TRAVEL HOTSPOTS North America Ski Destinations: The 2014 Winter Games are rapidly approaching and some travelers will be looking to have the Olympic experience closer to home. "There will be a ton of interest to winter sport destinations that are more accessible and far less expensive than traveling to Sochi," said David De Lalio, ski region senior market manager for Orbitz. "There are resorts in Whistler, Lake Placid, Lake Tahoe and Park City that that have previously hosted the Games and have venues and great lodging where travelers can have a personalized experience." North American ski resorts are offering gold-medal amenities to get visitors into the skiing and snowboarding spirit:
- Whistler, Canada features a dog-friendly ski resort with a bevy of recent Olympic history. Air travelers have the option of flying into Vancouver or Seattle to shop for the best fares, and visitors can participate in unique experiences such as cross-country skiing while learning the ground rules of the biathlon.
- Lake Placid, New York is nestled in the Adirondack Mountains and a two-time host of the Games, in both 1932 and 1980. With both Alpine and Nordic skiing options available and home to one of only 16 bobsled runs in the Western Hemisphere, Lake Placid is a gem for winter sports enthusiasts. For those seeking something on the lower intensity side, the destination also offers dogsled, gondola and sleigh rides to take in the beautiful winter setting.
- Lake Tahoe, California is known for its diverse hills and the unique Alpine experience and a one-time host of the Winter Games at Squaw Valley in 1960. Chosen in part for its intimate setting that allowed participants and spectators to walk to most events, Squaw Valley has since become a go-to ski destination to the West Coast. Located nearby, Northstar affords a more upscale experience in an Alpine Village atmosphere with a respectable 3,100 skiable acres.
- Park City, Utah, the last U.S. city to host Olympic games in 2002, feeds travelers 'need for speed' with rocket skeleton sled and bobsled rides on the actual track from the 2012 Games. For more of a spectator experience, Park City offers a guided tour and a museum for travelers to relish in the memorable Olympic moments.