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Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

Travel briefs

January 19, 2003

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Web site tracks personal travels

Keep track of where you've been with a new free Internet service. Been There! Inc. announces the launch of its Web site, www.mytravels.com. The free service allows travelers to maintain logs of their visits to more than a dozen types of travel destinations such as national parks, major league ballparks, the 50 states and countries of the world. More categories are in the planning stage.

Once travelers create their free log, they can order a colorful certificate that displays their travel achievements.

With the certificate comes a Destination Registry that allows travelers to plan trips to new destinations and keep accurate records of their jaunts.

Travel agent services requested less often

In the past three years, the proportion of U.S. travelers who use a travel agent fell from 32 percent to 26 percent, according to a survey by the Travel Industry Association of America. That 26 percent represents 54 million people, said the association, which attributed the shift to increased use of the Internet.

The survey asked 1,300 adult travelers whether they had used an agent to book at least one business, pleasure or personal trip, flight, hotel room, rental car or tour in the past three years.

The survey results broke down this way:

  • Half of those booking through travel agents are frequent travelers, taking five or more trips in the last year.
  • Fifty-five percent of those using agents are men.
  • Forty-three percent of travel-agent users are age 35 to 54; a third are 18 to 34.
  • Thirty-eight percent have at least a college degree.

Alaska ferry network now easier to book

The Alaska Marine Highway -- the network of ferries that plies Alaska's coastal waters and is favored by independent travelers who book it full every summer -- now has an online reservations and ticketing system. At www.alaska.gov/ferry, you can find out what ferries go where and when, as well as make reservations and buy tickets. Information also can be obtained by calling (800) 642-0066.

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