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2011's Top Predictions From Top Travel Experts

posted 5 Jan 2011, 09:46 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 5 Jan 2011, 09:48 ] Predicts Travel Returns in 2011 With New Destinations, New Technologies and a New Reliance on Travel Insurance

LONDON -- (Marketwire) -- 01/05/11 -- After a fairly dismal 2010, the skies are finally looking more open for air travel in 2011, says the UK's leading website for flight deals comparison.

"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.

"But 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.

Here, issues Air Travel's Top Five Predictions for 2011:

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, searches to India have risen by 25 percent year on year showing that more travellers are up to following in the footsteps of author Liz Gilbert to explore the world independently, and travel companies and lodging is supporting the trend with special accommodation for the solo travel category.

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 have even expanded the distances they're willing to travel. As such, predicts the trending hotspots for 2011 will include the likes of Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia, China, and up and comers within Eastern Europe that are still in Europe but don't yet use the Euro such as Latvia and Lithuania, among others. In other words, people are a lot more flexible with their destinations, with trying new things, and a lot more open to new places.

Techno-travel 2011

Smart phones and applications add an extra element of fun on the go, and 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.

Air Fares will Rise

We believe that air fares will tend to move upwards in 2011. Passenger demand has increased to 5 percent over pre 2008 levels although Iata sees increase in demand pace slowing in the New Year. Some important points for consumers to keep in mind include:

Insurance & Assurance

Given the volcanoes, strikes, and most recent snowy disruptions of the past year, the rise of travel assurance is a trend that is already in motion and set to continue in 2011. Travellers are increasingly booking with agents or airlines where some kind of insurance is guaranteed in the event of any disruption. While the UK traveller is already savvy when it comes to travel insurance, we are likely to see an increase in the number of people who take out travel insurance as a result of the incidents from this past year.

About Cheapflights Media

Cheapflights Media is an international media network providing users with different ways to find low cost travel. Since 1996, Cheapflights Media has been helping consumers research, compare and save on domestic and international travel. Our flagship brand, Cheapflights, is one of the largest flight deals publishers, delivering over 4 million deals daily. With brand-name deals on airline tickets from more than 300 partners and 600 airlines and a team of travel experts hand picking the best offerings, Cheapflights offers visitors a mix of deals they can't find anywhere else. zugu, the newest brand in the Cheapflights Media portfolio, is a powerful and simple travel search engine that makes it easy to compare and select the lowest available fares online. By organizing flight options by date, airline and time, zugu helps consumers find the best fares based on their travel terms. There are currently Cheapflights-branded sites for the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia & New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. zugu is available in the U.K., U.S. and Germany. For more information, visit