Travel Trends 2012


The information is from Travel Leaders which includes travel agency locations from coast to coast and based on actual booking data.

With 11 of the 20 top international destinations in Europe, Asia and Australia, it is clear that Americans are ready to travel farther from home than in recent years. Travelers are also willing to spend what is necessary for their desired vacation. More than 90 per cent of those surveyed said clients planned to spend the same or more on travel in 2012 as compared to last year.

This is in keeping with my experience over the years that people consider travel part of the right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

The top international destination is cruising. Five of the top 10 destinations are in the Caribbean or Mexico.

Rome, London and Paris topped the international destinations. London is probably getting a boost from the recent Royal Wedding. The famous city is also looking forward to the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth who is celebrating her 60th year on the throne in February, with many of the activities scheduled in June. The last monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897.

London is also looking forward to the 2012 Olympic Games later this summer.

River cruising has moved up on the international interest list. We are seeing more and more bookings from travelers in our listening area for this delightful method of seeing the world. I’ll be taking a Rhine River Cruise at the end of April. Our sailing includes the famous horticultural exhibit, Floriade, which occurs only once a decade.

Interest in small ship ocean cruising and off the beaten path travel are showing an upsurge.

Americans’ interests are diversifying and in large enough numbers to “bump up” destinations such as Hong Kong and Beijing in Asia, and Amsterdam and Barcelona in Europe. Sydney, Australia, is gaining steam and just missed the top 15.


The top up and coming international destinations are Croatia, Vietnam and Panama.

Another trend is more and more families taking international trips.

U.S. travelers remain consistent in their most-wanted domestic vacation destinations. Eight of the top 10 domestic destinations for 2012 were also on the top ten list for 2011. These include the two top choices: Las Vegas and Orlando.

Las Vegas presents opportunities for golfing, entertainment and shopping, in addition to gaming. Visitors have more than 120,000 hotel rooms to choose from. These range from the MGM Grand, the world’s largest hotel/resort complex, which has a glass-walled lion habitat inside the casino, to the Bellagio, with its dancing water fountains.

In Orlando, more than 80 per cent of travelers make reservations at Disney properties. Among the most popular nationwide and, I find, in our region, are Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and its All-Star Music Resort, which offers family suites with kitchenettes and two full baths.

Hawaii – both Maui and Oahu – show up in the top ten domestic destinations. We have found Hawaii sales for our company for 2012 running about twice as much as last year. Part of this is attributable to some very good values.

Whatever the trends are, I hope that you can establish your own trend to plan a vacation either near or far from home in 2012!

This is Katherine Satrom for Travel Explorations.



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