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Flight comparison website highlights new year travel trends

2011’S top five predictions from travel expert Cheapflights.com.uk

After a challenging 2010, the skies are finally looking more open for air travel in 2011 says the UK’s leading website for flight deals comparison, Cheapflights.co.uk. “There’s no denying the last year has been tough on the travel industry with volcano ash, airline strikes, and other disruptions causing anxiety among consumers,” says Francesca Ecsery…

Cheapflights

After a challenging 2010, the skies are finally looking more open for air travel in 2011 says the UK’s leading website for flight deals comparison, Cheapflights.co.uk.

“There’s no denying the last year has been tough on the travel industry with volcano ash, airline strikes, and other disruptions causing anxiety among consumers,” says Francesca Ecsery, Global Sales Director for Cheapflights Media, parent company of Cheapflights.co.uk.

“However, things are really looking up for the New Year: consumer confidence seems to be renewed as is the enthusiasm for getting away, particularly with this last bout of bad weather, which has pushed many to go in search of sunny, bargain escapes,”
continues Ecsery.

Cheapflights.co.uk issues air travel’s top five predictions for 2011:

1. Solo travel / literary travel

The world is more open to solo travel and soul searching than ever before. The release of iconic movies such as Eat Pray Love has brought new elements to last year’s ‘Travel with a Purpose’ trend. Since its premiere on 22nd September 2010, search to India has risen by 25 per cent on Cheapflights.co.uk year-on-year. Cleary, more travellers are keen to follow in the footsteps of author Liz Gilbert to explore the world independently and travel companies and lodging are supporting the trend with special accommodation in the solo travel category.

2. Travel hot spots

With every new year come predictions for new holiday hotspots. The effects of the recession, coupled with global events such as the World Cup, have reprioritised the way travellers search, what leads their destination choices and even expanded the distances they’re willing to travel. As such, Cheapflights.co.uk predicts the hotspots for 2011 will include Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia and China. Emerging destinations in Eastern Europe and that don’t use the Euro, include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, among others. Travellers are becoming a lot more flexible with destinations and in trying new things.

3. Techno-travel 2011
Smart phones and applications add an extra element of fun on the go. The fact that the internet is accessible at any time through smart phones could spur an increase in last-minute travel bookings from phones. Flexibility is the cornerstone to finding great deals and particularly, cheap deals, which is the essence of the Cheapflights product, so the ability to search and compare flights on the go should encourage last-minute travel.

4. Air fares will rise
We believe that air fares will tend to move upwards in 2011. Passenger demand has increased to 5 per cent over pre-2008 levels although IATA sees this slowing in the New Year. Important points to keep in mind include:
– Increased taxation and other fees charged to aviation are likely to be passed on to consumers
– The debate for a global environmental charge on all flights is gaining prevalence
– Airlines are increasing capacity at a conservative pace, keeping the supply/demand ratio more in sync than it was pre-recession
– Asian economies are recovering well, which is having a knock-on effect on oil prices – analysts expect the price to push through $100 per barrel again in the near future
– The International Energy Agency has revised its estimate of world-wide oil demand for this year to 2.3 million barrels a day, the second highest in the last 15 years

5. Insurance means assurance
Given the volcanoes, strikes and most recent snowy disruptions of the past year, the increased need for assurance when travelling is set to continue in 2011. More travellers are booking through agents or airlines where some kind of insurance is guaranteed in the event of any disruption. We are likely to see an increase in the number of people who take out travel insurance as a result of the incidents from last year.

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