Travel trends for 2010

The travel gurus are reading their crystal balls for the new year, and here are some of their predictions.

NEW YORK — The travel gurus are reading their crystal balls for the new year, and here are some of their predictions.

From Travelocity.com’s Genevieve Shaw Brown:

• Airfares are going up, but hotel rates are going down.

• Resorts in popular destinations dependent on air travel — Caribbean, Hawaii — will be particularly good values.

• All-inclusive resorts will gain popularity.

• Booking early is the best way to get the lowest airfare. Capacity cuts means airlines have more pricing power than 2009.

• Vacation packages will be the best overall value. Hotels are not keen to lower their standalone rates, but will do so as part of a package. Travellers who bundle flight and hotel will save the most.

From Hotwire.com’s Clem Bason:

• Travel sales will remain flat; travel deals will continue to improve.

• Hotel prices will continue to drop. Watch markets such as Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where Hotwire expects discounts up to 55 per cent off.

• Air prices will stay flat, as capacity cuts offset the slow recovery in business travel.

• Car rental prices will be high, with few deals and some sold-out locations. Rent from off-airport locations to save money.

• Get savings from vacation packages, with discounted deals online.

• Price differences between five- and four-star hotels will get smaller.

From JWT (J. Walter Thompson):

• Look for more airlines offering annual subscriptions for checked luggage, like United’s US$249 yearly fee.

• Travel marketers may target folks who’ve lost their jobs but have some money tucked away, by pitching adventures that will help them re-evaluate their lives.

• You’ve heard of staycations; what do you think of haycations? These are interactive farm stays where city-dwellers gather their own eggs, make cheese and even learn to butcher an animal.

• Airlines will move closer to using plant-based bio-fuels in commercial jets.

• Business travellers will start bundling several short trips into one longer trip with several stops, to save time and money.

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