Travelzoo Inc, a global Internet media company, has announced five destinations its deal experts predict will offer excellent value to travelers in 2012. The destinations are Costa Rica, Japan, the Mediterranean, Orlando and Thailand.
Travelzoo's experts reviewed thousands of deals and interviewed more than 400 travel executives over the past three months to determine these as the Wow Deal Destinations of 2012.
"We anticipate higher airfare prices, jaw-dropping hotel deals and an oversupply of cruise cabins," said Gabe Saglie, senior editor for Travelzoo. "Based on our extensive market research, we predict that Costa Rica, Japan, the Mediterranean, Orlando and Thailand will offer the most outstanding deals next year."
Here are the key reasons why these destinations stand out:
Costa Rica: Several airlines are increasing airlift to Costa Rica in 2012, creating more deals and greater accessibility. In addition, the U.S. dollar still goes a long way here in comparison to some other Central American and Caribbean destinations.
Japan: Japan is hungry for tourism as it recovers from the devastating tsunami of 2011, and Deal Experts from Travelzoo's Tokyo office say upscale properties are reducing rates by as much as 50%. Travelers can stay at 5-star hotels in notoriously expensive Tokyo for less than $200 per night, and Japan Airlines is adding nonstop service from Boston in 2012, creating greater accessibility from the East Coast.
The Mediterranean: With uncertainty across North Africa, many cruise lines have repositioned their ships to sail along Europe's Mediterranean coast. In addition, top cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International are positioning a record number of ships in European waters in 2012, as they duke it out to capture share in Europe's growing cruise market. These two factors will result in the largest glut of supply in European waters in recent history. Travelzoo Deal Experts found an early-bird 10-night sailing on the Norwegian Jade for $549 per person that takes in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt, a savings of $370.
Orlando: Orlando has the most hotels in the country, and despite its reputation of good old American family fun, the city is dependent on convention and foreign leisure travel. Travelzoo Deal Experts expect soft demand for convention travel to continue into 2012 and a slowdown in European leisure travel to the United States, as the euro continues to slide against the dollar. Travelzoo recently published a deal at a 4-star Orlando resort for $65 per night -- the half-priced deal included a Disney character breakfast, guaranteed tee times at Disney's championship golf courses, spa discounts and complimentary theme park shuttles.
Thailand: Like Japan, Thailand is in recovery, from its floods of this past year. As waters recede, the government and hoteliers are quickly sounding the all clear and advertising incredible deals. Five-star hotels are promoting stays for $100 per night, including massages and meals. Vacation packagers are also promoting jaw-dropping deals such as an eight-night, four-city package with air, meals and transfers for $999 per person, a savings of more than 35% on current rates. Travelers can also flex the muscle of the U.S. dollar in Thailand.© PR Newswire