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My Vacation Lady noticed the trend early in 2013. Many of our colleagues noticed it also. 2013 is going to be a banner year for travel. In the past couple of years, our clients have hesitated about booking European vacations because of the high cost of airfare but this year, after 3 years of record high airfare, our clients are traveling to Europe again- in large numbers.
In a May 28 article posted on Travel Weekly’s daily newsletter,
Researchers and travel executives are encountering a few surprises as they look into what’s hot, what’s trending, who is traveling and what role price is playing in consumers’ decisions to hit the road or stay home.
For example, John Lovell, president of Vacation.com, said last week that Europe has come roaring back as clients get past their airfare sticker shock.
“Europe is back, and it’s clear that airfares no longer are an issue, as they had been over the past 18 months,” Lovell said. “Consumers see it for what it is. Much like gas prices, consumers were waiting it out to see if pricing would come down. And in this case, they have found that the higher prices are here to stay. It is what it is, and consumers are seeing it that way.”
While Europe is not the only hot travel destination for 2013, it seems that this year will be a very strong year for Americans to vacation abroad. More families are traveling together– something we’re seeing at My Vacation Lady, as well.
Demand for Europe is reflected in several surveys, as well.
Italy, Spain, France and the U.K. popped up on Ensemble’s 2013 summer survey as among the most popular international destinations for family travel, followed by Mexico, Hawaii and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Italy came out on top in ASTA’s Summer Hot Spots survey as the most popular international summer destination booked by ASTA agents. It was followed by the U.K.
In ASTA’s city rankings, London, Paris and Rome were the leaders in Europe, with Orlando, Las Vegas and San Francisco leading the pack on the domestic front for the 11th year in a row.
Some other hot trends for 2013:
Cancun and Jamaica remain the top two destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, and “both are up over last year.
…multigenerational travel as a hot seller this summer.
…national parks are especially strong this summer among extended families who want a cultural experience “uniquely American. This is where we’re seeing the biggest increase in interest.”
Another hot spot, Lovell said, is Hawaii, which has made a strong comeback in the past year and a half.
“The cautionary tale there is that rates are increasing because of the influx of Japanese and Chinese tourists,” he said. “This has made availability tight.”
We’re still getting tons of calls for summer vacations and to say that air availability is tight, is putting it mildly. My Vacation Lady’s best advice for 2013 summer travel:
- be flexible with dates
- be flexible with airports you are willing to fly from
- be flexible with flights (you might not be able to get a non stop flight)
- be prepared to spend more than you anticipate— prices are higher than they’ve been for a while.
- don’t wait much longer to book