Booking Further Out and Farther AwayAs travel counselors continue to be valued for their ability to customize trips, they are noticing other positive signs within the industry, including the fact that 75% of their business is from long-term relationships and referrals. In addition, 43% of the survey’s respondents reported customers were booking travel further ahead in 2014 (vs. 2013) and 92% said their customers were planning to spend at least as much, if not more, on trips in 2014 (vs. 2013). With extra budget slated for vacations, travelers are planning to visit more exotic locales, with 54% of travel counselors seeing a growing preference for international destinations. Among the places with the highest demand: Southeast Asia, Rio de Janeiro, New Zealand, Croatia and Costa Rica. Arts and culture remain key drivers for vacation decisions according to 32% of respondents, followed by ultra-luxury travel (27%), culinary travel (21%) and adventure travel (16%). Cruising will also continue to make waves, with 42% reporting that more travelers are cruising in 2014 and an impressive 76% of respondents noting the continued trend towards river cruising.
American Express Travel Survey: Internet, Friend Or Foe Of Travel Agents?
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