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.