July 23, 2014

Travel Briefs - Jan. 2006

Diane Sears | 1/1/2006
INTERNET
Online Bookings --
The number of Americans booking their travel online increased substantially last year, according to a study by the Travel Industry Association of America and USDM.net. About 79 million U.S. travelers, or 78%, researched their trips on the internet, compared with 65% in 2004. And 82% of those booked reservations online, compared with 70% the previous year.

Rating Service --
During an event in Orlando in November, San Francisco-based TravelPost.com launched its new website, which features user reviews of destinations. Readers can see reviews from people like themselves; each posting contains the person's gender, age, travel budget category such as luxury or moderate, length of stay and reason for travel, such as business or leisure.

THEME PARKS
Marineland --
After being closed for more than a year following the 2004 hurricanes, Marineland near St. Augustine has reopened with a new focus on interactive programs that let visitors swim with dolphins. The park is open only on weekends, and prices range from $5 for general admission to $120 for a 30-minute swim. Details: Marineland.net.

Sea World --
This spring, Anheuser-Busch is launching a new branding campaign for its three SeaWorld parks. Changes will include an updated show for Shamu, along with new merchandise and a Shamu-themed roller coaster.

Universal Studios --
After a phenomenal year at its Orlando parks in 2004 when it opened its Revenge of the Mummy ride, Universal saw a 16% decline in ticket sales last year. Owners cite several reasons, including hurricanes, high gas prices and 50th anniversary festivities at competing Walt Disney World.

Cypress Gardens --
Owner Kent Buescher is planning to add a wooden roller coaster and bring back the park's famous water-ski shows.

Tags: Dining & Travel

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