Most Important Travel Trends of 2012
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T+L takes a look at trends that are transforming the travel landscape and predicts what the year
Which of these scenarios is most likely to happen to you in 2012? A) At the hotel
breakfast buffet, you find congee and stir-fried noodles along with the usual
bacon and eggs. B) You book a cruise for the first time ever. C) You
crowd-source your vacation.
If you guessed all of the above, you’re on to something. With the way the travel
industry is trending, chances are that you’ll encounter all these situations in
the year ahead. To help you better prepare for future trips, T+L’s editors and
correspondents gathered together the most compelling travel trends of the year
For starters, expect major developments in two areas that have redefined travel
recently: airport security and the Internet. The TSA is introducing streamlined
screening for selected frequent fliers—which means a lucky few will be able to
keep their shoes, belts, and jackets on while going through security checks.
In general, the promise of shorter lines might persuade passengers to choose
convenience over cash. “More of our leisure clients who normally fly coach on
international flights are flying business to ensure access to quicker check-in,
security clearances, and boarding,” says Mary Ann Ramsey, the president of
Betty Mclean Travel and a T+L A-list super agent.
The Internet’s influence on travel will cut both ways. Turned off by unreliable
reviews on TripAdvisor and its ilk, more people will be mining their social
networks for travel tips. It will also be easier than ever to log in as we
travel with fewer—but more powerful—gadgets. Yet unplugging, too, is becoming
an increasingly attractive option amid the overwhelming glut of information found
“We’re finding more and more a feeling of ‘e-morse,’” says Thomas Stanley, the chief
operating officer at luxury travel outfitter Cox & Kings. “It can be
difficult to sift through content to find authentic suggestions and advice.”
That’s good news for Stanley as travelers flock back to old-school travel
agencies and other one-stop shops to tailor their vacations.
Find out what else is in store for travelers by reading all our trend predictions for 2012.