HST (high speed train) travel will pretty much kill off short haul air travel across Europe, with longer routes affected by luxury overnight services between centres like Barcelona and Amsterdam.

The arrival of maglev (magnetic levitation) trains will make it feasible for people to commute between Berlin and Hamburg and will ultimately transform the way we socialize in Europe, with long distance relationships eventually becoming a quaint piece of transport history. Upmarket virtual travel is going to be a huge growth area, particularly for companies such as CenterParcs, who will be looking to woo sophisticated travellers who can only afford the time to take short hit holidays of no more than five days.

Offering spa treatments, sports programmes, innovative cuisine and luxury accommodations, these virtual resorts will be accompanied by a revival in Club Med style resorts around the Mediterranean basin.

"People are looking for resorts that are no more than three hours travel time from their homes," says Nancy Novogrod, editor of Travel & Leisure Magazine. "This is a trend that developers are going to have to pay attention to because people are taking more individual holidays but they're only taking five days off each time they leave the office. For the same reasons, I think cruise lines are also going to start actively targeting young professionals who want hassle free vacations. So specialized cruises are going to be a big growth area as more ships are launched."

That said, people are also going to be looking for something that fits with the Heimlich trend, so watch for road trips to start making a comeback on European and American motorways. Conversely, in a world that is becoming increasingly pre-packaged, spontaneity will begin to figure large throughout the travel industry.

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