Forgive this massive post. Feel flattered that you have written enough worthwhile things I feel compelled to respond to
Norwegian offers by far the cheapest airfares from the USA to the French Antilles. They can only support this during the winter when they run 8x weekly.
Bingo. But Norwegian has no US feed at all, so if you don't live in BWI or JFK territory , the tourist areas of the French Antilles are economically disadvantaged.
Aside from that AA rusn 1x nonstop from MIA. AF flies a milk run service from MIA 5x stopping in PAP and continuing on to FDF.
yeeeeeeahhhh.... lets talk about that; for much of the US, those AA flights are either $700 - $800 1 or 2 stop flights, AND only if you can fly on a Saturday or the AF flights are 3 stop ordeals spanning up to 29hours of clock time (and may cost you $1000+) . Basically if you aren't originating in MIA, this is not an appealing option. The travel time from Europe might be less!
Based on this we can infer that neither PTP nor FDF are popular Caribbean destinations for US tourists. And it isnt because they dont have passports. Compare service to nearby ANU, UVF or even SKB.
Thank you for having a level head about the passport thing.
But chicken and egg on the "popular for US tourists" part. Gotta be easier and cheaper for US originating tourists to get to those islands, and for that to happen, someone must promote as destinations; can't expect the airlines to do that job.
It appears that when an American wants from a resort differs from what Europeans want. Dont bring up notions of spolied prima donnas wanting all inclusive resorts because these are most favored by Euro and Canadians arriving on comprehensive tour packages.
I am not sure that you can draw that conclusion about differences in resort desires about Americans and Europeans. I repeatedly see the exact same resorts and hotels in this region that cater simultaneously (or seasonally) to Germans, Brits, Swedes, Canadians, Argentines, Russians, and USAicans. For real. that alone indicates to me that there are large swathes of tourist/travelers from all those very different places whom are willing to pay for the same kind of vacation experience. I'd suggest that its more about the presence, or lack therof of "vacation bundlers". In EU/Canada/Russia, charter flights are must more common and so all that is left is to sell the all-inclusive resort (maybe only a choice of one!) part to 150 - 300 people and fill the flight. The US tourist is virtually always going to be on a scheduled mainline flight.... so even though they may buy as a "bundle" also, the backend arrangement is far, far different.
Americans from the east coast also travel in the summer. In fact Jamaica sees limited seasonal variation from these markets. The winter focused US travel is that from New England and the Midwest. Summer is the peak for those from the southern states, which are now an increasing source of tourists.
Very true, though don't ignore the US West coast, which will also heavily travel in summer and Christmas time to Hawaii, Pacific Mexico and Europe!
What can be said with credibility is that, with the large numbers of domestic vacation spots Americans don't like to travel long distances if they can avoid it. Jamaica and the Bahamas do well because they are quite close.
only if by "quite close" you mean the SE quadrant of the US, containing perhaps 1/3 of the US population
I get what you are saying is that Americans have more vacation spots available, domestically, than any single European country - but, the long distance thing isn't really true. The distance from Milwaukee to Montego Bay, Jamaica is greater than that of from Munich to Cairo. Culturally, which one is further, you tell me
Americans don't do the "annual vacation trip" They prefer several short trips sprinkled throughout the year.
ehhhhh.......... I'm gonna call you out on this one. Kind of.
An extremely high % of Americans are probably limited to 1 or 0 long distance vacations per year. There's a smallish minority (10% or less, is my guess) that have the time and money to fly away (or equivalent) more than once per year. Having said that, its important to draw a line somewhere, and perhaps here is where the US vs European difference is most obvious.
Large numbers of Americans take weekend/long weekends to "go to the lake/cabin/beach/mountains/campground", this is true. If you count automobile trips of a few hours that span a weekend, and total 3 or 4 days, then yes - Americans take "several short trips" per year. to me, that is not a vacation - that is merely a "leisure weekend", and shouldn't be confused with vacations that involve air travel, regardless of distance.
North Atlantic islands are niche destination, and airlines (at least US based) don't do niche that well; they do mass-market.
US based carriers do niche. What they don't do is speculative highly seasonal relatively long distance travel.
isn't that pretty much a definition of "niche" in the aviation context?
if not - tell me what niche destination are served by US carriers for leisure purposes? I am curious. I suppose you will cite small ski resorts, perhaps? If so, those are ludicrous high yielding routes that often have little, if any scheduled competition and sometimes feature things like private airfields for the very well healed.
These islands aren't even promoted in the USA. It is only the most travel focused who have even heard of these places as destinations for leisure travel.
They aren't. Promotion costs money, and who's gonna spend that, if not themselves? Look into the advertising budget the country of Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas and others put into the US to promote and maintain their image as wonderful places to visit and relax. How much do the Azores or Guadeloupe (France?) spend?
I don't think that these islands even want US tourism as their hotels are designed for the Euro traveler and their offerings based on the needs of Euro tour operators.
I agree. But its unlikely that the hotels are designed any differently. Hotels the world over equally satisfy tourists, be they from Nice, Brighton, Kyoto or Austin. Maybe its simply because the EU provides all the tourist flow that is desired?
Its the same reason why US carriers don't fly to the Greek Islands.
No! No! No!
The Greek islands, individually, are tiny, tiny destinations (aviation wise) for US tourists! Thats like asking why Aegean Airlines doesn't fly to San Antonio or Nashville. Really? But that doesn't mean there aren't numbers of US tourists to Greece - there are, always have been. Simply put - the long haul economics just do not work. The US3 have not gotten to be among the most profitable operators globally by being idiots. US tourists want to go visit the Greek Islands? Sure - we'll take you to LHR, AMS, CDG, FCO, ATH, and our partners will take you from there. Its the sound business choice. the US3 literally flying into Greek Island airports is a ridiculous idea, and the lack of those routes say absolutely nothing about the level of US tourism interest to those locations.... nothing at all.