Travel News: And the Top Destinations for 2020 are…

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1,300 Travel Advisors did a Survey on Top Destinations for 2020

Virtuoso’s Luxe Report surveyed 1,300 travel advisors from agencies around the world, revealing everything you need to know about travel in 2020: 

Top travel trends are 1) multigenerational travel, 2) authenticity, 3) active or adventure trips, 4) family travel (immediate family) and 5) celebration travel.

Top emerging destinations are 1) Croatia, 2) Antarctica, 3) Iceland, 4) Japan and 5) Portugal.

Top global destinations are 1) Italy, 2) Greece, 3) France, 4) Japan and 5) Croatia.

Top adventure destinations are 1) Antarctica, 2) Alaska, 3) Galapagos Islands, 4) South Africa and 5) Iceland.

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Top Millennial destinations are 1) Greece, 2) Bali, 3) Croatia, 4) Iceland and 5) Cambodia. Top Cities are 1) Paris, 2) Barcelona, 3) Florence, 4) Rome and 5) London.

Top family destinations are 1) Hawaii, 2) Italy, 3) Orlando, 4) Costa Rica and 5) England.

Top honeymoon destinations are 1) French Polynesia, 2) Italy, 3) Greece, 4) Bali and 5) Maldives.

Top solo travel destinations are 1) Italy, 2) England, 3) United States, 4) France and 5) Spain.

Top travel motivations are 1) celebrating a milestone, 2) discovering new destinations, 3) spending time with loved ones, 4) rest and relaxation, and 5) crossing off Wanderlist destinations.

Virtuoso is an exclusive network of high-end travel companies.

Agents Of Change: The Internet Didn’t Replace Travel Advisers

Boston Globe reports: it’s a profession people may think had succumbed to the onslaught of airline and hotel websites and online booking services such as Expedia and Priceline. BUT the travel agent is alive and well, with collective gross bookings of just under $113 billion in 2017. That number is projected to rise to $127 billion by 2021.

“We used to just walk down the street and be reminded of travel agents sitting there behind their windows and with all their special offers,” said Claudia Unger, a research analyst at Phocuswright. “Because we don’t see them, we just assume they’re gone. But most of them have moved into the online space or become independent contractors.”

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Even Phocuswright predicted, in 2006, that travel agents would become extinct. Instead, more than half now work out of their homes or have affiliated with “host” agencies such as Travel Experts, Andavo, Cadence, and Virtuoso. 63% said business is up, 83% are positive about the future. 

The vast expansion of the online travel universe has had another, unexpected consequence: The intimidating number of choices is beginning to channel people back to human experts. Many agents liken themselves today to financial advisers or personal trainers. It’s a definition especially appealing to millennials, about a quarter of whom said they plan to use an agent for at least one vacation in the next two years, MMGY reports. That’s an even higher proportion than for baby boomers who grew up at a time when travel agents still were omnipresent. 

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Archaeologist Discovers Ancient Maya Civilization Sites Through An Online Map

National Post reports archaeologist Takeshi Inomata has used the online map to identify the ruins of 27 previously unknown Maya ceremonial centers that contain a type of construction that archaeologists had never seen before.

Inomata, an archaeologist at the University of Arizona, was thrilled when he made a major discovery using a lidar map he had found online, in the public domain, entirely for free.

The map, published in 2011 by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography, covered 4,440 square miles in the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas. The outlines of countless archaeological sites stood out to Inomata.

So far, he has used it to identify the ruins of 27 previously unknown Maya ceremonial centers. Inomata’s new findings include large constructions that are low to the ground,  up to two-thirds of a mile in length, and easily obscured by thick brush.

“If you walk on it, you don’t realize it,” Inomata told the Times. “It’s so big it just looks like a part of the natural landscape.”

His findings are now inspiring other archaeologists to take a look at publicly available LiDAR maps.

Using NASA data from a survey of Mexico, Charles Golden, an anthropology professor at Brandeis University, spotted ancient settlements near the Usumacinta River on the Mexico-Guatemala border.

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Denmark Sets Border Checks At Swedish Border

Denmark’s Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup announced in Copenhagen that the country will set up temporary internal border checks at the border with Sweden starting next month. The move comes after two Swedes were charged with being involved in an explosion outside the Danish Tax Agency in August.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at the time that the government was considering strengthening controls at its border with Sweden. Denmark is connected to Sweden via the Oresund bridge across a 10-mile strait. Thousands of citizens from the two countries commute across the border daily by train and car. Both countries are members of the European Union. 

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