Tour operators have struggled this year as the economic downturn took its toll. Now, late-booking calls are starting to pour in, at least for some tour operators. "Mid-June, we saw the last-minute booking pattern come virtually out of nowhere," said Trafalgar Tours President Paul Wiseman. "Things started to accelerate for late-summer travel for Europe as well as domestic for the U.S. The bookings have exceeded last year, sometimes by over double. And when you consider we really didn't get into the bad booking pattern until September [last year], what that's done is put a really sweet end to what was initially looking like a very sour year."

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