February 02, 2012 18:10 ET's Travel-Intel Illuminates the Prime Influencers of Travel for 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 2, 2012) - What factors are afoot that will influence whether and where Americans travel this year? What factors will influence their buying decisions? and Travel-Intel have burrowed down into recent surveys of American households to find out just what consumers and travelers want in order to put their dollars on the "book it!" line.

Recent studies show more than half the U.S. population plans to take a vacation this year. But the price of fuel could cut into those plans as worry over gas prices is up 15 percent this year to 68% of those surveyed. Weekend trips will make up more than half the getaways planned by households in the US and "staycations" (trips of up to 50 miles from home) are intended by 30 percent of those respondents with travel plans.

The article is one of several new features in the February 1 issue of Travel-Intel, a newsletter sent to more than 100,000 opt-in travel agents in the U.S. and Canada. Travel-Intel is then posted on for those seeking answers in's comprehensive directory of tour companies and travel information.

The new issue of Travel-Intel also features a one-on-one interview with Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, who outlines what is on the horizon for luxury cruising in Europe and South America.

The issue looks at romantic hot spots in this Valentine's Day month with a listing of love packages offered by the Kurtz-Ahlers collection. One "pop the question" deal offered by Salviatano, an ornate, converted Renaissance-era manor in the outskirts of Florence, Italy, comes with a "rejection clause." The property promises to keep the bar open all night for those guests who receive an answer of "no."

Other features include hot spots for romance in South Australia and finding rodeo romance this summer at the Calgary Stampede centennial.

"Valentine's Day is an easy anchor for all things romantic, so we, at Travel-Intel took advantage of this holiday by writing about places that can really fit the bill," says Lark Ellen Gould, content director for Travel-Intel. "Many people don't realize that they can spend a lot of money and time planning what they hope is an amazing, peak moment vacation and find that the B&B they booked or the beach cottage they saw on the Internet is not anything near what it was supposed to be. So we give them tips, packages and choices for what are vetted, mistake-proof romantic getaways."

Gould, a veteran travel journalist who has been covering the travel industry for more than 20 years, brings her incisive perspective to the publication and emails it on the 1st and 15th of each month to more 103,000 travel agents in the U.S. and Canada, before posting the travelzine on and Travel-Intel also partners with CanadaScope and Britain Magazine for easy access to added sources of information. is the Official Directory of Tours & Vacations Worldwide. On-line since 1995, has a deep and searchable database of tour and vacation companies searchable by company name, destination and/or activity. Also a one-stop resource for major Travel Channels such as travel insurance, passport & visa information, major travel booking sites by categories such as hotels, air, cars, cruises, barges, yachts & ferries, railroad & rail travel, etc... plus all other pertinent travel categories/channels. The Find a Travel Agent search field allows one to search for travel agents certified with in-depth knowledge in their chosen areas.

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