By Angie Argabrite, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at 9:01 am.
In spite of the global financial beat-down, experts have given the tourism industry a sunny forecast, predicting that over the next five years travelers will look to scale back costs without sacrificing the vacations of their dreams. At least one destination is suffering, however: The Olympic torch handover ceremony in May drew some tourists to Greece, but overall, trips to the Mediterranean are poised to take a hit in the wake of protests and bad press. When making trip arrangements, consider that the traveler’s check has fallen from grace in some countries, as debit and credit cards become more universally accepted and ATMs more fluent in the languages of different banks. In places such as China, Russia, Kazakhstan and some parts of Africa, though, where plastic isn’t always an accepted currency, the traveler’s check remains a necessity. For other travel concerns—say, finding a clean public bathroom or the best deal on a nearby hotel—wouldn’t you know there are clever new apps for that? Another trend we’re seeing: multigenerational travel, as Grandma and Grandpa opt to take their children and grandchildren along on their heady golden years expeditions. Marketers might have to think big when appealing to three generations, but the payoff is worth it: Some seniors drop tens of thousands of dollars to spend an idyllic week with the whole clan. (Family counseling not included.)