Bizjournals

Jehovah's Witnesses convention to b...

Jehovah's Witnesses convention to bring 24,000 visitors to Hawaii in November

The Jehovah's Witnesses 2014 International Convention will bring in 24,000 delegates from 10 countries over two November weekends and an estimated economic impact of $105 million, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. A group of 12,000 will attend the events at the Hawaii Convention Center from Nov. 14-16, and a similar-sized group will be on island from Nov. 21-23. An estimated 26,000 delegates attended the Jehovah's Witnesses international convention in Honolulu in 2009, and in 2003, it?
Don't work for free ? take your vac...

Don't work for free ? take your vacation (and help the economy)

Americans are working too hard and it is causing the economy to suffer. According to a new study by the U.S. Travel Association, many employees are who receiving paid time off are not taking what is given to them, and it is having an effect on the economy. The research, which was conducted by Oxford Economics, said that nearly five days of paid time off were not used by employees in 2013 ? 1.6 of those days were permanently lost to employees. A total of 169 million vacation days were lost last?
Pay-by-the-mile driving? Idea resur...

Pay-by-the-mile driving? Idea resurfaces in Colorado election campaigns

Long a buzzword among policy wonks and transportation planners, the idea of creating a vehicle-miles-traveled fee to supplement or replace the gasoline tax has surfaced again in both federal and statewide political races in Colorado. The VMT fee would measure the distance traveled by a car or truck and charge the vehicle owner accordingly in order to raise money for road repairs and highway-building. It's an idea that cuts across party lines. Democrats and Republicans who back it say that it could?
Confirmed: Disney ditching iconic s...

Confirmed: Disney ditching iconic sorcerer?s hat at Hollywood Studios next year

It's time to take your final photos and say your goodbyes, as the iconic Mickey's sorcerer's hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be removed. Walt Disney World confirmed to Orlando Business Journal on Oct. 24 that the 122-foot-tall hat, which has been the centerpiece of the theme park since 2001, will be removed. "Work continues on bringing new experiences to life at Disney's Hollywood Studios and we look forward to sharing more information at a later date," said Disney spokesman Bryan Malenius,?
Savvy holiday travelers know how to...

Savvy holiday travelers know how to avoid flight delays at L.A.-area airports, and now you will too

What's the best airport in the Los Angeles metropolitan area for you to fly in and out of this holiday season if you're concerned about delays or cancellations? A new study by Nerdwallet has ranked airports locally and nationally in terms of their reliability. While you might get delayed in traffic getting to an airport, you'll be relieved with the knowledge that as a city, L.A. ranks a respectable ninth in delays and cancellations. The study took into account delays or cancellations caused by?
Horn Lake vehicle auction company f...

Horn Lake vehicle auction company finds dry spot near Memphis airport

Horn Lake, Mississippi, auction company Dealer's Auto Auction will move close to Memphis International Airport in early 2015, bringing 100 jobs, according to a news report. The auction, which is currently at 6723 U.S. 51 in Horn Lake, will pay the airport $400,000 in annual rent for up to about five years for 24 acres north of Democrat near the FedEx Express world hub, The Commercial Appeal reported Friday. After three years, either the airport or auction can end the lease. The auction is also?

MSNBC

Art or Vandalism? Painting Spree Hi...

Art or Vandalism? Painting Spree Hits National Parks

The National Park Service says it?s investigating a New York artist as a suspect in graffiti vandalism across the western United States.
Pick the right Halloween costume fo...

Pick the right Halloween costume for your cat or dog

When it comes to Halloween, the nation?s dogs have become real party animals. Just because they don?t eat the candy doesn?t mean they can?t dress up for Halloween ? and many do. But how do you pick the right costume for your cat or dog, and make sure it's a good idea to dress them up in the first place?
Search for Malaysian Jet 'Will Take...

Search for Malaysian Jet 'Will Take Many Months'

Australian officials Peter Foley and Judith Zielke discuss the restart of the search for missing Malaysian flight MH370, which was put on hold for four months while the sea floor in the revised search zone was mapped.
'Middle Earth' Helps Passengers Fly...

'Middle Earth' Helps Passengers Fly Safe

Air New Zealand has released a new Hobbit-themed in-flight air safety video. Actors such as Elijah Wood from the original trilogy appear, as does film director Peter Jackson.
'One hot mama!' Woman speechless af...

'One hot mama!' Woman speechless after Ambush Makeover, donates hair to charity

A rainy fall day in New York City got much brighter for two ladies when they were swept away by our Ambush Makeover team for an unforgettable transformation.53-year-old Vickie Lilley from North Carolina dropped 95 pounds and decided it was a good time to trade in her "au naturale" appearance for an upgraded look. "She's a wonderful person, " Vickie's friend Renee told Jill Martin.
Foam Fighters and Fence Jumpers: Th...

Foam Fighters and Fence Jumpers: The Week in Pictures

Foamy freshmen at St. Andrews, widows light up Diwali, umbrellas vs. batons in Hong Kong, football fight on the field, counting sheep & more.

NewYorkTimes

In Transit Blog: Dinner, a Movie an...

In Transit Blog: Dinner, a Movie and a Flight Out of Minneapolis

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has transformed its C Concourse into an ?arts corridor,? culminating next month with the opening of a screening room.
A Writing Retreat by Rail, From Par...

A Writing Retreat by Rail, From Paris to the Côte d?Azur

Could a train trip to the Mediterranean infuse the author with literary inspiration?
In Transit Blog: On Yelp, Reviews W...

In Transit Blog: On Yelp, Reviews With a Side of Bookings

Yelp now allows users to make vacation bookings without ever leaving the site.
Q&A: Joseph O?Neill on Dubai, ?a Pl...

Q&A: Joseph O?Neill on Dubai, ?a Place in Formation?

The writer talks about his latest novel, ?The Dog,? set in Dubai, and the two reporting trips he made there.
Update: New Ebola Screening Measure...

Update: New Ebola Screening Measures

A guide to the steps being taken to prevent travelers from spreading Ebola.
Overnighter: A Small-Town Gem Near ...

Overnighter: A Small-Town Gem Near Nashville

Though less than 20 miles from Music City, Franklin is a world away, with a history and culture all its own.

Infozine

Travel Implications Because of Eb...

Travel Implications Because of Ebola in Parts of West Africa

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to screening procedures, travel restrictions, and reduced aviation transportation options in response to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Somalia Travel Warning

Somalia Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Somalia.
Russian Federation Travel Alert

Russian Federation Travel Alert

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens in Russia to the on-going tensions along the border with Ukraine and the potential for clashes between pro-Russian groups and Ukrainian forces.
House Republicans Demand Ban on T...

House Republicans Demand Ban on Travelers from West Africa

By Wesley Juhl - House Republicans want to ban travel to the U.S. from West Africa, where the Ebola outbreak continues to rage.
Rich Fish Diversity Found in Big ...

Rich Fish Diversity Found in Big Buffalo Creek

By Bill Graham - Peer into Big Buffalo Creek and you will see small fishes swimming in the clear water, no surprise for a stream bordering Ozark highlands. But what will surprise an onlooker is the species diversity found when fishery biologists sample the stream's fish population with seines and nets.
Kansas City International Airport...

Kansas City International Airport Traffic Up for August

The number of peak-day scheduled aircraft departures for August 2014 was 186.

PhoCusWright

Online Travel Agency Competition He...

Online Travel Agency Competition Heats up Down Under

Australia and New Zealand's (ANZ's) online travel agency (OTA) landscape has changed considerably over the last three years. Long a two-horse race between Wotif and Webjet, the status quo is now facing disruption by several domestic and global players, according to PhoCusWright's newly released Australia and New Zealand Online Travel Overview Seventh Edition (an Asia Pacific and Global Edition publication). Wotif has experienced decelerated growth since 2010 – and recorded its weakest performance in 2013. Webjet is on a roll, aggressively closing the gap with Wotif, and has gradually moved away from an air-only approach to become a full-service OTA. With broad expertise and deep pockets for marketing spend, global OTAs such as Priceline-owned Booking.com, Expedia, and Orbitz subsidiary HotelClub continue to up the ante in the online hotel space. "Despite the weakening of the Australian dollar and subdued growth forecast of the ANZ travel market, competition in the...
Are Global Travel Organizations Und...

Are Global Travel Organizations Undervaluing Regional Social Media?

Travel industry engagement in the major global social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – is nearly universal. Social networks now play a considerable – and growing – role in travel companies' marketing, customer engagement and service, according to The State of Social Media in Travel, a new Global Edition study from PhoCusWright. However, despite widespread prominence of social networking use across the travel industry, less than 10% of respondents to a new study cited any engagement with key regional social networks. In China, home to the world's largest social networking population and where nearly all Chinese travelers are active on local social platforms, only 6% of travel companies are currently active on some of the most popular social networks, such as Sina Weibo. "Given the scope of our study, it was quite surprising to see that so few travel companies are engaged in regional social networks," says Douglas Quinby, PhoCusWright's vice...
PhoCusWright Announces Partnership ...

PhoCusWright Announces Partnership With Brazilian Consultancy, Mapie

Travel industry research authority PhoCusWright today announced a partnership with Mapie, a Brazil-based hospitality consultancy company specializing in the Latin American market. Mapie's services include business development, management modeling and consumer and market research. This partnership with Mapie is evidence of PhoCusWright's expanding presence throughout the globe. Mapie will assist PhoCusWright with fielding surveys, sourcing clients and distributing their travel, tourism and hospitality research across Latin America. "Latin America is a complex region with varying characteristics from country to country. Partnering with a respected and established entity like Mapie will help us expand our presence in what we think is an underserved market," said Tony D'Astolfo, managing director of PhoCusWright. "Mapie will help with market sizing and consumer trends, and we will also leverage their significant portfolio of travel industry clients to assist with quantitative and...
Is Airbnb a Distribution or Hospita...

Is Airbnb a Distribution or Hospitality Company?

Is Airbnb a Distribution or Hospitality Company?(And Why It Wants to Be a Hospitality Company) In the latter half of 2013, Airbnb began making more direct comparisons between itself and the hotel industry. Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and CTO, told the Telegraph in November that he expected Airbnb to surpass InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Hilton in total number of rooms. He was right. Intended or not, the direct comparison with two of the world's largest hotel companies proved to be perfect PR for the fast-growing startup. Within six months, the company had closed a monster US$475 million funding round. The extensive media coverage in the run-up to the funding couldn't have hurt. It widely – and almost always superficially – compared the reported $10 billion valuation to the lesser market caps of several hotel companies, including IHG. The comparisons – both in the number of rooms and in valuation – may have made for great PR, but...
Mobile Holiday Shopping: Travel Rev...

Mobile Holiday Shopping: Travel Review Websites Win in France and U.K., Online Travel Agents Lead in Germany

Across Europe, consumer travel behavior is about as diverse as the culture. Nearly a quarter of French, German and U.K. leisure travelers used a mobile device to plan holidays in the past year. But according to a recent PhoCusWright report (part of the European, Global and Innovation Edition subscriptions), the types of travel websites and mobile apps mobile travel planners visit varies considerably across markets. According to PhoCusWright's European Traveler Technology Survey 2014, travel review websites and apps dominate in France and the U.K. Fifty-two percent of mobile travel planners in the U.K., and 45% in France, used a mobile website or app like TripAdvisor in the past year. In Germany, however, mobile travel review activity drops to 29%. Instead, German travelers typically prefer visiting online travel agents (OTAs) on their smartphones and tablets. In fact, they are significantly more likely to use an OTA website or app than their French and U.K. counterparts. ...
China?s Exploding Online Penetratio...

China?s Exploding Online Penetration Leads to Expanded OTA Offerings And Platforms

As Alibaba sits perched on the edge of what could be the largest IPO in history, all eyes are on China's e-commerce marketplaces. And as the country's consumers flock to online and mobile shopping channels, travel is one of the industries driving the shift. China's online leaders have the experience, talent and determination to innovate; its tech-savvy traveler base is poised for considerable growth; and its quickly evolving online environment revamps business models and offerings at a rapid pace. China's online travel gross bookings reached US$18.2 billion in 2013, second in Asia Pacific (APAC) only to Japan's, according to PhoCusWright's newly released Asia Pacific and Global Edition publication, China Online Travel Overview Seventh Edition. With annual growth of 26 – 27%, online bookings will account for more than a quarter of all travel bookings by 2016, when China's online travel market will surpass Japan's to reach $37.1 billion. With China's overall and online...

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