A paragraph in an article at eyefortravel.com about increased travel (in the US) caught my eye:
Best Western International, motoring and leisure travel organisation AAA and SideStep have projected a rosy picture for travel market in North America. This was indicated during the discussion related to the current status of the travel industry and emerging trends among three organisations in New York recently.
This year’s high gas prices and events such as an early and active hurricane season have not deterred travel within North America, according to Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing for Best Western. â€œIn fact, 2005 is shaping up to be the busiest and most profitable travel year ever,â€™ says a release.
Dowling said that record numbers of travelers visiting such popular cities as New York and Orlando are increasing hotel occupancies like never before. Dowling added that its becoming more difficult to not only find a â€œgreat deal, but sometimes to even find a room at all.â€ â€œPeople want to travel, and they’re doing it regardless of cost or other factors that are beyond their control,â€ says Dowling.
Further, the 2005 holidays are expected to result in record-breaking numbers. â€œMultigenerational trips are among the most popular this year, with 34% of travelers gathering for family reunions, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. The Internet has fueled much of this growth as distant family members keep in touch via email and many Americans research their genealogy online. In addition, multiple, shorter vacations, rather than the traditional trip of two weeks or longer, are increasing in popularity,â€ said a release.
(more at link above)
This has reflected my experience over the past 10 years or so. We have made more trips to see more distant relatives (outside of family reunions) than in the past, and other members of the family are doing the same thing. I’m in constant touch with cousins through email, that 20 years ago I would have been hard-pressed to send more than a holiday or birthday card.