AUGUSTA — Mainers aren’t much different from the rest of the nation when it comes to travel trends.

We like to cruise and play largely where it’s warm, and we like the bright city lights.

The top five U.S. destinations of Mainers, according to a recent survey, are Orlando, Las Vegas, Honolulu, New York City and Phoenix.

Dube/Travel Leaders, which has offices in Augusta, Auburn and Scarborough, conducted a survey of its local clients and compared it to a nationwide survey done between Nov. 21 and Dec. 16. The national survey included 640 Travel Leader agents, manager and owners, according to a prepared statement.

The national survey showed Maine travel mirrors three of the top domestic destinations: Las Vegas, Orlando and New York; however, the nation’s travelers as a whole preferred Maui to Honolulu in Hawaii and liked Alaskan cruises as well.

“Any place warm like Florida and the Caribbean are always the biggest this time of the year,” June Cumler, sales manager for Dube/Travel Leaders, who is based in the Augusta office. “A lot of people want the all-inclusives in the Caribbean and Mexico, which are very popular.”

Cumler, who has been a travel agent for 28 years, said local families travel to visit Disney and Universal Studios, and couples might take the time to go to beaches around South Beach and Fort Meyers.

“A lot of Mainers live in Florida, and we have a lot of Mainers that go and visit their families,” she said.

Among the more unusual international trips she’s arranged is one she’s doing now for a group of people who want to tour printing plants in China.

And then there’s the increasingly popular destination weddings. “Some of them are really large,” she said. Mainers traveling internationally have almost identical travel patterns as those in the other 49 states.

Top five international destinations for locals are Caribbean cruises; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Riviera Maya, Mexico; Mediterranean cruises; and Rome.

The survey also identified as “up and coming destinations” for locals as Eastern Europe — specifically the Czech Republic and Hungary and Costa Rica in Central American.

Among travelers across the United States, “up and coming” category includes Croatia, Vietnam and Panama.

Top five destinations in the national survey are Caribbean cruises; Cancun, Mexico; Playa del Carmen, Mexico; Mediterranean cruises; and Rome. The 2012 Travel Trends Survey also reported that Americans are prepared to travel farther from home and to spend more money.

The U.S. Travel Association, an industry group, calculated that U.S. residents “logged 1.5 billion person-trips for leisure purposes in 2010,” and the “top leisure activities for U.S. domestic travelers (are) visiting relatives, shopping, visiting friends, rural sightseeing and beaches.”

The same group also says that $526 billion was spent on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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