Culture trumps relaxation for next year's travelers

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The Independent Travel

It must be close to the end of the year - hot on the heels of the World Travel Market's Trends Report released November 8, travel review site TripAdvisor has published the results of its 2011 Travel Trends forecast.

The hotel review site revealed November 9 that respondents to its survey rated "visiting a historic site" the top (83 percent) vacation activity for 2011, followed closely by visiting a museum (73 percent).

Visiting a national park took third place, followed by attending a festival, hiking, water-based activities and visiting a spa, which manager a fairly low 33 percent.

Overall, the survey showed an increased inclination to travel among the 3,000 US-based respondents.

A total of 69 percent said that they would be taking international trips next year, 52 percent saying that they planned to visit Europe, 13 percent naming Asia and 12 percent opting for South America.

Despite London recently being voted World's Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards, it seems US travelers still swoon for Paris, which topped the British and Italian capitals in terms of top international destinations.

When questioned about the worst travel developments of 2010, a whopping 69 percent of respondents to the survey named carry-on baggage fees, with ten percent answering new hotel fees and a further ten percent singling out the controversial body scanners.

The best travel development this year was the growth in online travel deals (39 percent), followed by cheaper hotel rates (22 percent) and expanded access to inflight wifi internet access on aircraft (12 percent).

Top Five Vacation Activities for Next Year

Visiting an historic site - 85%
Visiting a museum - 73%
Visiting a national park - 46%
Attending a festival - 43%
Hiking - 42%
Water activities - 38%
Visiting a spa - 33%
Gambling - 29%