By KRISTI PIHL
More Americans are expected to travel farther from home in 2012 according to a recent survey by Travel Leaders.Of the top 20 travel destinations, 11 are in Europe, Asia and Australia, which is up from 9 in 2011.And more than 91 percent of Travel Leaders surveyed say clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2012 as compared to last year. The survey is based on booking data and was conducted from Nov. 21 to Dec. 16 using responses from 640 Travel Leaders owners, managers and travel experts in the nation. Travel Leaders has offices in the Mid-Columbia. About 43 percent of clients are spending about the same per trip as they did in 2011, while 44 percent are spending somewhat more, according to the survey.“Our surveyed travel agents indicate there’s an increase in interest and bookings for small ship cruising, off-the-beaten path travel, and international family travel,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, which includes travel agency locations from coast to coast. “With these luxury-oriented segments on the rise, it’s no wonder the overall optimism our Travel Leaders have heading into 2012 based on bookings to-date for the upcoming year is also very high.”Travel Leaders travel agents nationwide say Croatia is the top “up and coming” international destination in Europe, Vietnam is tops within Asia and Panama narrowly edges out Ecuador and Brazil among destinations in Central and South America.And more travelers are planning ahead, with 64 percent booking travel within the United States eight weeks or more ahead and 90 percent booking international travel 8 weeks or more ahead, according to the survey.
Here is the top 20 list of international destinations based on the survey: 1. CRUISE- Caribbean, same as 2010 2. Cancun, Mexico, same as 2010 3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico, more than 2010 4. CRUISE- Europe (Mediterranean), 3rd in 2010 5. Rome, Italy, same as 2010 6. London, England, same as 2010 7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, 9th in 2010 8. Paris, France, 11th in 2010 9. Montego Bay, Jamaica, 7th in 2010 10. Negril, Jamaica, 15th in 2010 11. Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico, 12th in 2010 12. Florence and/or Tuscany, Italy, 14th in 2010 13. CRUISE- Europe (River), tied for 21 in 2010 14. Beijing, China, 16th in 2010 15. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 13th in 2010 16. (tie) between CRUISE- Mexico, was 10th in 2010, and Sydney, Australia, 19th in 2010 18. Barcelona, Spain, 20th in 2010 19. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tied for 26 in 2010 20. Hong Kong, China, tied for 23 in 2010 Here is the top 20 list of United States destinations for 2012 according to the survey: 1. Las Vegas, NV, same as 2010 2. Orlando, FL, same as 2010 3. Maui, HI, tied for 4th in 2010 4. Cruise – Alaska, 3rd in 2010 5. New York City, NY, 6th in 2010 6. Honolulu, HI, tied for 4th in 2010 7. Washington, D.C., same as 2010 8. Chicago, IL, tied for 10th in 2010 9. Los Angeles, CA, 12th in 2010 10. Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, tied for 10th in 2010 11. Atlanta, GA, 15th in 2010 12. San Francisco, CA, 9th in 2010 13. Fort Myers, FL, tied for 19th in 2010 14. Cruise – Hawaii, 8th in 2010 15. Fort Lauderdale, FL, 16th in 2010 16. Anaheim/Orange County, CA, tied for 13th in 2010 17. Lihue (Kauai), HI, tied for 22 in 2010 18. Miami/Miami Beach, FL, tied for 13th in 2010 19. tied between Kona (Big Island), HI, tied for 26th in 2010, and Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, 18th in 2010.
Source: Business beat