News and Deals: 3/03/2011 – Rebound in travel industry threatened by fuel prices, Cruise capacity in Australia increases in 2012, Cheap sleeps in Europe and Top five bargain destinations for spring 2011

Rebound in travel industry threatened by fuel prices

After a slump due to the recession the travel industry is booming again but any rebound could be threatened by a fuel price rise, travel experts said.

The mood was buoyant at the New York Times Travel show last week, which featured 500 destinations in 150 countries, but tensions in North Africa and the Middle East, soaring crude oil prices and airline fare hikes were making headlines as travel agents and tourist officials publicized their destinations.

United, Continental, American, Delta and US Airways all announced recent fare increases and travel experts fear more are still to come.

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Holland America to boost capacity in Australia in 2012
USA Today

First Celebrity Cruises, now Holland America.

Just hours after Celebrity on Tuesday announced it would be sending a larger ship to Australia in 2012, Holland America said that it, too, would be growing capacity in the region next year.

Holland America said late Tuesday it would send the 1,926-passenger Oosterdam and 1,432-passenger to Australia for the 2012-2013 season, boosting its capacity in the region by nearly 25% as compared to the upcoming 2011-2012 season. The line plans to send the smaller, 1,432-passenger Zaandam and the Volendam to Australia for the 2011-12 season — the first time it has had two ships in the region.

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Cheap sleeps in Europe
Seattle Times – Rick Steves

Travel is best with a few rough edges. I once suffered through an all-night stint on the blistered, black vinyl floor of a Yugoslavian train in order to wake up in Sofia, Bulgaria. When I stumbled out of that station into a blue, new Bulgarian day, just being off the train made Sofia a thrilling destination.

There are still plenty of people traveling in Europe on the cheap. The one thing they have in common (apart from B.O.) is frugality. If even low-budget pensions and hostels are too expensive for your wallet, you can sleep for next to nothing.

Sleeping on trains, as I did in the Balkans, is one tactic. Some Eurailpass holders get a free — if disjointed — night by riding a train out for four hours and catching one back in for another four hours. If you’re in Scandinavia, try booking a sleeping berth — called a “couchette” — on a night train for a reasonable $30 to $50.

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Top five bargain destinations for spring 2011
USA Today

Whether you’ve got your sights set on Europe, Australia or somewhere closer to home, now is the time to start planning spring travel. The lower prices of spring are the calm before the summer storm of high travel costs and big crowds. This spring, hit an undiscovered wine trail in Europe, find your own Outback, or dine your way through a closer-to-home slice of France, all for less than usual.

I’ve monitored trends, industry news, and sale patterns to point you in the direction of places that offer the best bargain values for the coming season. Below you’ll find examples of deals presently available for spring trips. Like all deals, these are sure to expire; however, a little research on your part can yield similar results when you’re ready to book.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

One Response

  1. Jeremy B

    Great info! I hate that prices continue to go up. The airlines did a recent hike this past week but rolled it back when the budget airlines didn’t play along. However, I think the price of airfare is going to continue to go up. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any other alternatives for getting overseas.


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