Las Vegas, Caribbean Cruising Rank as Top Destinations in Carlson Wagonlit Travel 2005 Fall Travel Trends Survey

Network of Travel Experts Also Assists Travelers in Wake of Hurricane Katrina

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Las Vegas and Caribbean cruises once again top the list of top fall destinations being booked by Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, as the travel agency powerhouse announced the results of its 2005 Fall Travel Trends Survey. The survey was conducted of Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates (owners, managers and frontline agents) throughout the United States.* The destinations are repeats at number one, not only from last year’s Fall Travel Trends Survey, but also from the annual Travel Trends Survey, administered each year in December.

The following lists display the top ten domestic and international destinations for fall 2005, compared to the results from the 2004 survey conducted one year ago.**

Top 10 Fall Domestic Destinations: 2005

1 – Las Vegas, NV
2 – Orlando, FL
3 – Honolulu, HI
4 – Maui, HI
5 – New York City, NY
6 – San Francisco, CA
7 – Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ
8 – Kauai, HI
9 – Miami, FL
10 – Anaheim/Orange County, CA
Note: Alaska cruising was not offered as option for this question in 2005

Top 10 Fall Domestic Destinations: 2004

1 – Las Vegas, NV
2 – Orlando, FL
3 – Maui, HI
4 – Honolulu, HI
5 – Alaska Cruises
6 – New York City, NY
7 – San Francisco, CA
8 – Kauai, HI
9 – Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ
10 – Miami, FL

Top 10 Fall International Destinations: 2005

1 – Caribbean Cruising
2 – Cancun, Mexico
3 – Riviera Maya, Mexico
4 – Jamaica
5 – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
6 – Mexico Cruising
7 – Rome, Italy
8 – Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico
9 – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
10 – London, England

Top 10 Fall International Destinations: 2004

1 – Caribbean Cruising
2 – Cancun, Mexico
3 – Riviera Maya, Mexico
4 – Jamaica
5 – Mexico Cruising
6 – London, United Kingdom
7 – Punta Cana, Dominican Rep.
8 – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
9 – Rome, Italy
10 – Cozumel, Mexico

None of the areas recently devastated by Hurricane Katrina were on the top 10 list of destinations. However, the Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associate network has been monitoring the situation along the Gulf Coast and has been helping travelers make alternative arrangements where needed. “Our primary concern is always the safety of our customers,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, executive vice president of Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates. “At times like these, it is reassuring to have a travel expert on your side, doing whatever possible to make sure you’re getting where you need to go, and staying out of harm’s way.” Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates from around the country are also assisting their fellow travel experts who need help getting back on their feet after the devastating storm.

Other major findings from the Fall Travel Trends Survey:

— 61% of respondents said that comparing their 2005 bookings so far to
their 2004 bookings at this time, bookings are higher. 29% said
bookings are even, leaving 10% saying bookings are lower.
— When asked to name destinations that seem to be new or emerging among
clients as popular for fall travel, Costa Rica and Cabo San Lucas were
among the top destinations named. Cabo leapt from # 17 to # 8 on the
international destinations list. Costa Rica did not make the top 10,
but was named by 3.6% of those surveyed.
— Many of the Associates polled expressed concern over the Western
Hemisphere passport guidelines introduced earlier in the year by the
U.S. State Department. Those guidelines have since been revised.

The passport requirements would have required anyone traveling to the Caribbean to have a passport by December 31, 2005. That deadline will now be pushed further out. “However, we would urge anyone considering a trip to the Caribbean to apply for their passport now, so as not to face the time crunch later,” said Block. “Eventually, travelers to the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada will need passports. Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates have easy access to passport applications and are well-versed in document requirements, no matter what corner of the world you’re traveling to.”

Business Outlook and Travel Trends

Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s 2005 Fall Travel Trends Survey asked respondents to identify key 2005 fall travel trends and to forecast their outlook for business in the year ahead. Here are some of the more notable results:

Regarding 2005 bookings to date, what trends have you noticed? (Associates could select as many answers that applied)

Top 5 Answers Percentage Answered
International travel seems to be on the rebound 59.8%
The booking window seems to be lengthening 56.7%
Cruising is becoming more popular 54.9%
Clients are feeling more confident about traveling
farther from home 53.7%
Clients are spending more per vacation 48.8%

Which of the following do you hear most often from your customers regarding the impact of high gas prices and/or extra fuel surcharges?

The extra cost isn’t a factor 69.9%
The extra cost has caused some people to
scale back on travel 27.0%
The extra cost has caused many to scale back on travel 3.1%

With Carlson Wagonlit Travel, your experience begins with ours. To find the Carlson Wagonlit Travel location nearest you call 1-800-CARLSON or visit http://www.carlsontravel.com/ .

* 2005 Fall Travel Trends Survey was of 166 CWT agents taken July 20- August 10, 2005.

** 2004 Fall Travel Trends Survey was of 313 CWT agents taken July 8- August 12, 2004.

Carlson Travel Group, Inc. is a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies, Inc. Brands include: Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Cruise Holidays, Results Travel, SeaMaster Cruises, Carlson Leisure Travel Services and Carlson Destination Marketing Services. In 2005, for the ninth consecutive year, a Carlson Travel Franchise Group brand was named the top travel business franchise by Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500(R); Franchise Times ranked the program as the 3rd top franchise overall in 2004 for the fourth year in a row.

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