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2009 Travel Trends / Voyage

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In these tumultuous1 times, we return to the essential pleasures of travel, rediscovering classic destinations and old-fashioned manners, seeking out comfort and serenity2 and quiet. What’s old is new again this year.
The shaky economy has lead to some drastic changes in the ways people travel, creating new breeds of travelers, like flashpackers. The flashier3 version of the backpacker4 values the same low-cost methods of traveling as the traditional backpacker but would rather steer clear5 of group accommodations in lieu of a private (but affordable6) room.
Cruise lines are reinventing themselves. Take the launch of Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice, the first of five in a new class of ships, intended to change the way people feel about cruising by putting a modern spin7 on the glamour of ocean liners past. The luxury ship exceeds the average ship’s accommodations and level of sophistication. The liner’s main 1,400 seat restaurant — entranced by a circular descending-staircase — features an impressive 2,000-bottle wine tower and a pleasantly retro-futuristic design8. And if that wasn’t enough, a sprinkling of smaller restaurants acknowledges that passengers want choices. The liner even adds a touch of eco-friendliness, like its heat-absorbing half-acre lawn, growing on the top deck—not only does it provide a place for passengers to picnic, play croquet, or hone9 their putting skills, but also helps to absorb heat and moisture.
Even airlines — which have been under a tremendous amount of heat with a rise in fees and delays — are taking steps to accommodate disgruntled passengers, finally. In a pre-emptive move, Virgin America is requiring empathy10 and stress management training for all of its employees, who attend classes on such topics as politeness and conflict resolution. The airline hopes this extra training will help its employees to respond intuitively, intelligently, and compassionately11 in an era when passengers are acting increasingly irrational.
And, the Nikon Coolpix P6000 is an example of new technology that will change the way travel memories are not only documented, but catalogued and shared. Not only will it capture stunning12 digital images from around the globe, but its built-in GPS13 system is perfect for keeping an accurate log of where each picture was shot—essential for a multi-destination excursion. So you can post and geo-tag14 your snapshots on Google Earth. Also taking photo-sharing to the next level, Microsoft’s cutting-edge15 Photosynth can stitch16 together photo collections—every shot of Notre Dame found on, for example— to create navigable virtual realities. Imagine: your travel pics17 can be part of the collective memory.

24 октября 2009


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