Recommend December 2012 - (Page 20)

northamerica north american splendor HAWAII VISITORS AND CONVENTION BUREAU This photo: Kauai is one of Hawaii’s most popular islands. Left: Country Walkers offers tours of the American Southwest. As U.S. travelers look to their own backyard for vacation opportunities, tour operators, hotels, and rail and small ship companies added product in 2012 to meet the demand. deserae del campo Looking back on 2012 and the vacation destinations that were making headlines this year (Europe and its popular river cruise market; all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Punta Cana; and destinations like Cuba, South Africa and Israel), travel agents may wonder how the North American leisure market fared these past 12 months. According to tour operators and independent travel agents selling domestic and Canadian vacations, pretty darn well. Marc Kazlauskas, president of Insight Vacations (insight says the company saw a huge trend toward domestic travel. There was a “40 percent increase in U.S. and Canada tours over the previous year and this trend is continuing on into 2013.” As a result the company is expanding its luxury line of Insight Gold tours into the U.S. market, offering luxury itineraries in Hawaii, America’s Deep South and northeastern regions, as well as Canada. Whether it was the frontier of the American West, rail travel in Canada, or the Aloha culture in Hawaii, North America fared well this year and can expect an increase in visitors in the year to come. the lure of national parks Americans love their national parks. It’s not just the unspoiled beauty that attracts visitors to America’s West, but the slew of activities this 20 december 2012 vacation experience offers to the traveler—from biking to rafting, hiking and camping. “The states of Montana and Wyoming represent excellent opportunities for families to connect, and escape the heat of the east in the summer,” says Caroline Bach Wood, an independent travel advisor with Brownell Travel—a Virtuoso agency. “Overall, I think the U.S. represents such value because the activities are reasonable, logistics are relatively simple and it is obviously less expensive to fly to the Western U.S. than Europe.” Carolyn Walters Fox, director of marketing & media relations with Country Walkers ( tour operators specializing in walking adventures, says U.S. national park tours did exceptionally well this year. Excursions like the Montana & Wyoming: Yellowstone journey increased 20 percent over 2011, as did the Colorado & Utah: Mesa Verde, Arches & Canyonlands excursion, a 6-day trip where trekkers explore the remote borderlands of the two states. Search your bookshelf for our July 2012 issue where we provide an onsite review of Big Sky Resort ( in Montana, and feature the benefits of a day trip to Yellowstone National Park, just 18 miles south of the resort.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend December 2012

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: Indie Boutique Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Apple Vacations
16th Annual Recommend Readers' Choice Awards Winners
Cruising 2012
North American Splendor
Tantalizing Tallahassee
New Beginnings
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
For Asia and the South Pacific, 2012 was a Vintage Year
Europe Always Astounds
Six 2012 Trends That are Here to Stay
Africa Rising
Checking-in to Latin America

Recommend December 2012