|(Photo by Hamilcar South)|
1) My father, Arthur Frommer shares some of my thoughts on what's to come and diverges in some ways. Like me, he thinks we'll see an increase in the number of folks choosing vacation rentals over hotels and an increase in travel to Central America. He also predicted, correctly it turns out if recent history is a harbinger for what 2011 holds, that airfares will be rising. Other thoughts: more brain-numbing bells and whistles on cruise-ships, less work for travel agents and a reduction in group tour sizes.
2) Interestingly, Laura Bly of USA Today looked at the same trends and decided that travel agents were on their way back (I think my father's right on this one). She's also looking south of the border for more travel, though not as far (she picks Mexico as a hot spot for 2011, along with "royal wedding central" London, Iceland and the Civil War sites of the US). Bly is worried, rightly, that the new tactic of airlines refusing to sell through some of the major online travel agencies will have ugly implications for travelers. She's foreseeing a rise in hotel pricing and in what I think is a stroke of wishful thinking proposes that more travelers will do what she's planning to do soon and take a vacation from technology (traveling without cellphones, internet access, etc.) Good luck with that one Laura!
3) CNN's Agnes Pawlowski interviewed me, Robert Reid (of Lonely Planet) and Martin Rapp of Altour to determine what we thought would be the hottest destinations of 2011. Our picks (not all of which we all shared): New Zealand, New York City, Guatemala, Barcelona, the Peruvian Amazon, Norway, Albania, Japan, and Bulgaria.
4) Frommers.com turned to its writers and editors to make the same type of choice of 2011 destinations, coming up with a quirky list that consisted of Albania, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago (Chile), Puerto Viejo (Costa Rica), Hokkaido (Japan), the Pontine Islands (Italy), the Kent Coast (the UK), Cesme Peninsula (Turkey), Doha (Qatar), Stockholm, Atlanta, Nahanni National Park (Canada), and Ireland (the reader's choice).
5) Robert Reid and I seem to be on the predictions circuit! Beth Harpaz of the AP tapped us, too, and I told her I thought London would be hot because of Kate and William (that seemed like a no-brainer) while he plugged NYC once again. Her list also includes Alaska for its increased visibility via the Sarah Palin series; the launch of the new Disney cruise ship; the addition of a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall; and an uptick in hotel pricing.
Finally, I wrote about the top trends of 2010 and how they'll morph in 2011. You can read my thoughts here.
Happy New Years and lets all plan to travel MORE in 2011!!