To learn what trends our readers were experiencing, we surveyed Select Traveler readers about five current trends in the industry. Here’s what we found:
• Almost 43 percent of respondents have taken their groups on a river cruise in the past 10 years. Of those, 13 percent have taken more than five river cruises, and another 9 percent have taken three to five.
• The two most popular river cruises by far are the Rhine and Danube in Europe. The Rhine edged out the Danube for the most popular river cruise. The only other river mentioned by respondents multiple times was the Mississippi. Rivers mentioned at least once included the Mosel, the Seine, the Dordogne and the Rhone in Europe; the Volga in Russia; and the Yangtze in China.
• The most popular length of trip today remains about one week. Sixty-one percent of respondents responded that a week or so was best. The remainder were evenly split between shorter trips (three to five days) and longer trips (more than a week).
• Almost one-third of respondents have trips that include adventure travel options for their members. Thirty-one percent offer adventure travel and 29 percent describe that travel as mild adventure, like hiking, canoeing and snorkeling.
• Hand-held technology is influencing travel planners’ trips in a number of ways. More than 50 percent say their travelers are more independent on trips due to phones and tablets. Forty-six percent say that tour guides must be more knowledgeable now because of travelers’ use of technology. Forty-two percent say their travelers come to them with more ideas about things to do on trips based on technology. Forty-six percent admit that cellphones can be a distraction at times during a trip.
To learn more group travel trends, read our recent article.