2010 is officially over, and the new year holds pros and cons for the travel industry, as well as some exciting destinations for all of us.
When it comes to purchasing tickets, it may be even more difficult to reserve through online travel agencies with all the disputes with the airlines that want to cut out the middle man. Southwest only posts their ticket prices on their website, forcing fliers to go there in order to buy seats. American Airlines just pulled its flight listings from Orbitz and Expedia due to the high fees to have them on the sites.
As many of you may have noticed, more flights were canceled in 2010 than in previous years, due mostly to airlines attempting to avoid fees for long tarmac waits, but also because of severe weather conditions and unforeseen natural disasters--a certain volcano comes to mind. It's safe to assume that there will be just as many, if not more, canceled flights in 2011, unless the weather chooses to cooperate--which it never does. The good news is that the same amount of flights arrived on time in 2010 as in 2009, so hopefully this consistency will hold strong. Also, there were far less delays reported last year, a good sign for future travel convenience.
Social Media will continue to play a large part in travel and tourism. For my loyal readers, you may recall a post I did last year talking about travel apps for smart phones, as well as growing websites designed to aid travelers with a number of different needs. Well, more of those will be popping up all over the place. This year, more people will be using Facebook and Twitter to find information on destination, travel deals, cheap airfare and hotel reviews. As far as airlines, hotels and travel companies go, social media outlets will be used to promote exclusive deals and incentives that can only be accessed through networking sites.
2011 marks the anniversary of...well...a lot. And industry experts say that's a draw for many travelers. Peru, while always a popular tourist location, will draw even more crowds this year as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu, an Inca landmark dating back to the 15th century. The organization managing the upkeep of this historic site will be holding events and celebrations all year long to commemorate the gorgeous mountain-top ruins.
China is also celebrating a milestone this year with the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Republican Revolution, also called the Xinhai Revolution. This moment was a significant event for the Chinese culture in the 20th century, and numerous events are planned in its honor. It's unknown what kind of celebrations will be held, but expect there to be many parades and impressive firework displays.
Fifty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, and travelers are heading to Germany to celebrate this historic event. The city is expected to finish a long-term project this year that marks the wall's old path through Berlin.
Another country with strong ties to soccer is Brazil. With the World Cup coming in 2014, and the Olympics in 2016, Brazil is using their newly found publicity to promote it's beautiful beach resorts and exotic culture. It still has a few years to boost its infrastructure, but all the sporting attention is sure to draw a crowd.
Other locations of note to visit this year are Stockholm, Sweden--thanks to the overwhelming popularity of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" book series--and Greece--which is celebrating the 2,500th anniversary of the original marathon. For even more exciting places to visit in 2011, check out Bing's Top Destinations Slide Show.
So here's to a new year of exciting travel adventures! Happy trails everyone!