River cruising and travel to Europe and South America are just a few travel trends expected to gain popularity in 2009, according to a study by Globus. Steve Born, vice president of marketing for the tour operator, released travel trend insight after conducting extensive research for the year ahead.
The strength of river cruising is fed by more and more travelers who enjoy cruises but are looking for new and different experiences. Globus family brand Avalon Waterways, for example, had its best year ever to Egypt in 2008, part of double-digit growth over the year that is expected to continue in 2009.
Meanwhile, the strengthening dollar and the availability of some good air deals is activating some pent-up demand to Europe. Globus is already seeing good early interest in “classic” destinations like Britain, Ireland, France and Italy, as well as emerging destinations in Eastern Europe. In addition, as holiday travel winds down, Globus is seeing that the travel season has extended, as more and more travelers are open to off-peak travel to Europe to take advantage of special pricing and better airfares.
As some travelers reignite interest in Europe, Globus has experienced 30 percent growth each year in its South America business. The culture, access, currency, diversity, food has given the destination greater appeal and, over the long-term, a traveling population will become more interested than ever in the destination.
Outside of particular destinations, family travel, religious travel and group travel continue to rise in popularity. While family travel trends are much bigger than short term economic ebbs and flows, a study commissioned by Globus last year shows that the segment of religious travelers is 20 million Americans. Meanwhile, whether growth is due to special occasion travel (i.e. family reunion, student trip, church group, etc.), or that more travelers know they can realize extra savings by traveling together, travel agents are booking more group travel with Globus.