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They note an imbalance in guidebook topics, and find that customers' trips are becoming more focused
Booksellers specializing in travel guides and related volumes are in general agreement on two matters. First, their sales patterns reveal that American travelers are less likely than in the past to embark on the Grand Tour of Europe, choosing instead to focus on a specific region of a country during a single vacation. And second, several booksellers assert that there are too many guides and travel books dedicated to some locations and not nearly enough to others.
The trend for travelers to concentrate on one area has been going on for about five years, says Diana Wells, owner of Traveller's Bookstore in New York City, and that inclination is now developing into people spending even more time at their destination--for example, two or three weeks in Tuscany. "In some ways that's a less expensive way to travel," notes Wells. "There's less airfare, even less spending on rental cars because you may not need the car for the entire stay)'
The reverse of this kind of travel is also true, she says. People are likewise taking briefer, more local trips.
"The trend does continue with shorter trips," agrees Ed Wilhoite, co-owner of Ed & Fred: A Traveler's Store in Chicago. However, the problem persists that many regions are underserved, he says. "We can't get …