By Jeanenne Tornatore
What’s new on the travel scene? From the royal wedding to Disney’s newest resort, travelers won’t lack inspiration and ideas to plan a great vacation this year. Here are five destinations to keep on your travel radar in 2011:
1. Las Vegas. Looking for a vacation destination filled with great hotels and star-studded nightclub experiences? Vegas is your vacation spot for 2011. New hotels like The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas — a stylish and luxurious resort with a decidedly different ambiance than neighboring themed properties on the Strip — continue to reinvent the Vegas experience, giving visitors a reason to come back. And the increased room supply will keep hotel prices very reasonable for travelers.
2. Hawaii. With the highly-anticipated August 2011 opening of the Disney Aulani Resort & Spa at Ko’olina, Hawaii will become an even more desirable destination for families this year. And increased flight service to the Hawaiian Islands should make airfare more affordable for travelers looking to escape to this tropical paradise.
3. Cancun. This beach vacations mecca was the #1 international destination booked by Orbitz customers in 2010. With its close proximity to the U.S., modern and complete airport and hotel infrastructure, and pristine beaches, Cancun is expected to continue to be a favorite among U.S. travelers in 2011.
4. London. According to a recent survey by Orbitz.com, 24% of travelers are planning to take a trip to Europe in 2011. And London is expected to see a boost in tourism in April due to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate, set for April 29th. Orbitz has already seen uplift in the level of demand for the destination in late April as travelers plan early to celebrate this highly-anticipated event.
5. Australia. On her season premiere in September, Oprah announced, “We’re going to Australia!” Not only is the land down under sure to be on the radar of travelers due to the increased media attention, a $5 million marketing campaign launched by Tourism Australia will also drive consumers to the market. With increased airline competition, the resulting decline in airline prices is also making travel to the destination more affordable for consumers.
Jeanenne Tornatore is a senior travel editor at Orbitz Worldwide. A long-time traveler and avid deal seeker, she regularly shares her industry knowledge, practical advice and savvy tips with national print and broadcast media around the country.