Travelocity forecasts 07 travel trends

The biggest change in 2007 starts January 23 with new passport regulations going into effect requiring passports for those traveling by air to the Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico. However Travelocity’s annual forecast poll found that nearly one in four travelers was unaware of the new requirements, which could mean trouble for some in the year ahead. Uncovering the latest patterns and attitudes amongst travelers, this 2007 forecast shows consumers are resilient in response to higher fares, new airline policies, and changing security rules. The latest data offers insight into how travelers will cope with travel in the coming year.

With talk of consolidation and no end of higher fares in sight, when asked how these higher airfares might impact their travel plans, the largest group of respondents (51 percent) said it would depend on how much. Twenty-seven percent would take fewer trips, 18 percent would book earlier and 11 percent would book travel packages in an effort to dodge additional costs.

Travelers will continue to travel to far flung destinations in 2007, with Western Europe, the Caribbean and Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific ranking as the most desired international regions to visit. Once travelers are on vacation, “hitting the beach”, “relaxing/doing nothing”, and having a cultural experience were the top three activities.

“For a growing number of travelers the year 2007 will be a great one for international travel,” says Amy Ziff, Travelocity’s editor at large. “With more people obtaining passports in order to visit the Caribbean and Mexico this year, the world of travel options will open up in ways it never has before.”

Travelocity’s survey data reveals several other trends of note, including a tendency towards tradition - with 61 percent saying they have an “annual trip” that they take every year. Of those who take an annual trip, more than half report either going to the same exact place, or at least doing the same basic activity every time. But it’s not all beach hats and cocktail umbrellas for travelers this year, with one in 10 planning to commit their leisure time to volunteering while on vacation. Additional Travelocity forecast poll findings include: