Most Important Travel Trends of 2012

T+L takes a look at trends that are transforming the travel landscape and predicts what the year ahead holds.

Travel Agents

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Someone else will make the decisions.

After years of comparing and contrasting online, travelers now find the Web-booking process more exhausting than exhilarating. The average person visits 21 sites during nine sessions while preparing for a trip, an information overload that can lead to paralysis—a symptom of decision fatigue, according to Dr. Michael Young, a professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The solution? The one-stop-shop vacation. Travel agents are reporting a boost in business: 80 percent of Virtuoso advisers saw an uptick in bookings over the past year. American Express Travel also launched the new Nextpedition program, which tailors mystery trips based on a personality quiz. Google, meanwhile, is busy “Google-izing” search engines such as Kayak and Orbitz. Eventually you’ll be able to type in just a few key words, and Google will suggest itineraries that suit you—in an attempt to do what a travel agent does.

Most Important Travel Trends of 2012

Travel Agents

Someone else will make the decisions.

After years of comparing and contrasting online, travelers now find the Web-booking process more exhausting than exhilarating. The average person visits 21 sites during nine sessions while preparing for a trip, an information overload that can lead to paralysis—a symptom of decision fatigue, according to Dr. Michael Young, a professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The solution? The one-stop-shop vacation. Travel agents are reporting a boost in business: 80 percent of Virtuoso advisers saw an uptick in bookings over the past year. American Express Travel also launched the new Nextpedition program, which tailors mystery trips based on a personality quiz. Google, meanwhile, is busy “Google-izing” search engines such as Kayak and Orbitz. Eventually you’ll be able to type in just a few key words, and Google will suggest itineraries that suit you—in an attempt to do what a travel agent does.

Dan Saelinger
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