NEW YORK, December 1, 2010 — Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ: TZOO), a global Internet media company, today announced five destinations its deal experts predict will offer the best travel value in 2011. The ‘Wow Deal Destinations’ are: Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula focus), Iceland, Bermuda, Las Vegas, and California’s Central Coast.
“We anticipate 2011 to be similar to previous years – travelers will be on the hunt for deals,” said Gabe Saglie, senior editor at Travelzoo. ‘That said, Travelzoo’s deal experts have simplified the hunt by identifying the top five destinations where travelers will see the very best value including luxury resorts for 60 percent off and weeklong cruises for half-price. Their predictions are based on market data and insights from researching hundreds of deals daily, along with current and anticipated deals in the market.’
Travelzoo predicts the following five destinations to have exceptional value in 2011 based on the rationale below:
Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula focus): While international travel to Mexico has increased 20 percent compared with last year according to Mexican tourism officials, the country is still working to combat a negative media image, aiming to become a top five international destination by 2018. It’s currently No. 10 in international arrivals, according to World Tourism Organization statistics.
Cancun and Riviera Maya have been rated the No. 1 and No. 2 ‘Safe Places’ to visit in Mexico, and expanded airfare service in the wake of Mexicana Airlines folding has resulted in airfare competition and deals for the consumer. Virgin America, Continental Airlines and Southwest Airlines have since increased service to Cancun, while other carriers such as United Airlines and U.S. Airways have increased service to up-and-coming destinations like Mexico City. In addition to increased airfare service, Travelzoo continues to see aggressive resort and vacation deals in this region including a 5-night, all-inclusive vacation package for $599 per person from CheapCaribbean.com. This recently-published deal saves travelers over $600 off regular rates. Year-round warm weather and accessibility also make the Yucatan Peninsula an ideal beach destination for U.S. travelers with limited vacation time and a tight budget. There’s no shortage of deals – even this winter, typically a pricey time to travel.
Iceland: Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano really put Iceland on the map this year – and the country saw a spike in tourism in September (perhaps a result of the country’s newfound notoriety). Now that the ash has settled, this affordable European destination is primed to lure adventure-seeking travelers with a favorable Icelandic krona exchange rate of $1 : 110 ISK, as well as cheap eats ($3 hot dog dinner), cheap activities (thermal pool dips for $3), and free natural activities (Northern Lights, which continue through February, and the growing trend of volcano tours).
More scheduled flights have also helped make the destination easily accessible and affordable, with some roundtrip fares less than the cost of a cross-country flight in the U.S. Icelandair announced flights from D.C. starting in May 2011 and most recently launched a Blue Lagoon package including air, 4-star accommodations, tours and breakfast for $499 per person. This package saves travelers over 60 percent off regular prices. Iceland Express also launched three new routes: Orlando, Chicago and Boston. And Delta Airlines will launch a route from New York City in June 2011, making it the first U.S. air carrier servicing Iceland and offering connections throughout the U.S.
Bermuda: Cruise lines like Carnival and Holland America have been increasing itineraries to
Bermuda, and this stepped up competition will result in significant deals to this highly-rated island. Travelzoo published a weeklong Bermuda cruise including a $75 onboard credit for $699 per person from Cruise.com. This deal enables travelers to board a cruise on a top-rated ship for under $100 per day over Memorial Day weekend. Bermuda is also one of the most accessible islands – especially from the East Coast (less than 2 hours away). Four airlines (American Airlines, Continental Airlines,
JetBlue Airways and United Airlines) offer nonstop service from the U.S., some with fares as low as $69 each way from NYC.
Las Vegas: While Las Vegas has had a couple of tough years, this highly-attractive domestic destination is not showing any signs of slowing down as a deal factory for hotels and entertainment. With the December 2009 opening of City Center, Las Vegas increased its hotel inventory by an additional 6,000 rooms. As the Cosmopolitan opens for business December 15, it will also add an additional 3,000 rooms.
With so many properties jockeying for guests, luxury hotels dropping prices to dramatic lows are forcing budget properties to go even lower. The 5-star Trump International Hotel Las Vegas is offering suites for $79 per night including a $50 spa credit. That’s a savings of 50 percent off regular rates. Travelzoo foresees many luxury hotel rates dipping below $100 per night, with some budget hotels as low as $20 per night with extras.
California’s Central Coast: This glorious region, half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco and including Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo, is an affordable – and equally beautiful – alternative to the more highly-trafficked destinations of the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country. Easily accessible, California’s central coast is anchored by three major California airports – LAX, Long Beach Airport and San Francisco International – that consistently see nationwide airfare sales, and travelers can enjoy the quintessential coastal drive along scenic Route 1.
While hotels north of San Francisco are hiking prices, those along California’s central coast are bucking that trend, despite an economic rebound, with hotel costs almost half the price of their northern peers. The Hotel Corque, a boutique hotel in the Danish Village of Solvang, released a $99 per night deal for travel through February. Wine enthusiasts can explore the nearby wineries while saving over 50 percent on accommodations. Wine is also cheaper at vineyards in this region – often costing one-third of the prices in Napa. Paso Robles, with more than 180 wineries, mostly family-run, is also among the fastest growing areas in California, expanding five-fold over the past decade. The first half of the year is considered ‘low season,’ so deals should be particularly ripe in winter.
For deals to the above destinations, visit http://www.travelzoo.com/destinations/2011
Travelzoo Inc. is a global Internet media company. With 21 million subscribers in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific and 23 offices worldwide, Travelzoo publishes deals from more than 2,000 travel and entertainment companies. Travelzoo’s deal experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value. In Asia Pacific, Travelzoo is independently owned and operated by Travelzoo (Asia) Ltd. and Travelzoo Japan K.K. under a license agreement with Travelzoo Inc.
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