Sunday, March 15, 2009

Travelography #147: Finally - Some Good Travel and Tourism News!

Use the players on this page, or click the title above to listen to this podcast.

Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 8 to 15 March 2009. This podcast is also available at and

"With a 42% increase in trip requests received via in 2009 over the end of 2008, the increase demonstrates that many consumers are looking to travel in the next 140 days -- just in time for the summer travel season. Further, the increase in trip requests reveals a continued trend of consumers seeking the assistance of expert travel agents to help them plan and book their trips based on their specific specs -- a definitive plus for specialists."

Internet bookings will surge. Demand for online virtual meetings will gather pace. Domestic travel will stay stable or grow, as will demand for low-cost flights. Destinations adjacent to big travel markets will do not so bad. Long-haul travel will fall sharply. And the most pain will be felt in the business travel and MICE sectors.

In fact, 72 percent believe that increasing travel budgets will allow companies to gain a competitive edge by building market share and forging new customer relationships.

"These comments are extremely positive for the 1 million employees in this industry whose livelihood depends on business meetings and events," said Geoff Freeman, senior vice president of the U.S. Travel Association.

"In a year when flat is the new up, South America is actually up," said Melissa Snape, vice president of product at Collette Vacations, whose 2009 bookings for the continent are trending 30% ahead of last year.

“We have now held two House hearings and one Senate hearing on crimes aboard cruise ships, and this legislation will ensure that those who have bravely stepped forward to tell their story will not have done so in vain,”

"Cruise lines are seemingly becoming more sensitive to the needs of crime victims, and are creating the appearance of being responsible.” It remains to be seen whether these moves are being made out of genuine concern for passengers, or out of a desire to avoid bad publicity.

"I think it's great that it essentially says to tourists, to travelers, that you are welcome here and that we're excited to host you and Utah's a normal place," ...