Bizjournals

Austin, San Antonio engage in heate...

Austin, San Antonio engage in heated hotel battle as Texas capital ups its game

San Antonio was the 10th most popular domestic destination for U.S. travelers in 2014 ? several spots ahead of Austin, which ranked 16th, according to a Hotels.com report. Yet, the Texas capital is giving the Alamo City a run for its money in the hotel revenue race. New data from Source Strategies Inc., an Alamo City-based hospitality industry consulting firm, shows that San Antonio?s hotel sector generated $296.6 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2015. Hotels in the Austin-Round?
Hawaii sees more visitors, more spe...

Hawaii sees more visitors, more spending in April

A total of 677,754 visitors came to Hawaii in April, a 2.3 percent increase from the same month a year ago, while total visitor spending grew 5.4 percent to $1.2 billion, according to statistics from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For the month of April, total visitor days increased by 2.1 percent and per-person, per-day spending was $196.40, up 3.2 percent. Average length of stay, however, fell slightly by 0.2 percent to 8.7 days. Through the first four months of the year, visitor arrivals are?
I-Drive committee to hash out pedes...

I-Drive committee to hash out pedestrian bridge project

A group of Orange County leaders on May 29 will further discuss improvement plans for International Drive that includes a pedestrian bridge crossing Sand Lake Road. On the agenda, the I-Drive Steering Committee/Technical Working Group will further discuss its vision for the tourism corridor to help promote and market the area as a global destination, said the county's calendar. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the Convention Center District Office at 6014 Destination Parkway near the Orange County?
Frank Gimbel's empire could grow un...

Frank Gimbel's empire could grow under arena plan, but he is concerned about convention hall expansion

Controversial Wisconsin Center District chairman Frank Gimbel?s empire could significantly expand under an arena-funding plan headed to the state Legislature, but he?s not entirely thrilled about it. Gimbel, a Milwaukee attorney who has served as the public district?s only chairman for two decades, had just begun looking forward to beginning a conversation on expanding the Wisconsin Center convention hall as reported May 20 on the Milwaukee Business Journal website. Gimbel?s thinking was?
Streetcar track construction may fi...

Streetcar track construction may finish in June

About a year after the official kickoff of construction work on Kansas City's streetcar project, the construction project is nearing the finish line. Donna Mandelbaum, a spokeswoman for the contractors building the streetcar's infrastructure, told the board of directors of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority Inc. that: utility work is 96 percent complete track work is 82 percent complete overhead catenary system foundations are 90 percent complete work on the vehicle maintenance facility is about?
San Antonio and Austin engaged in h...

San Antonio and Austin engaged in heated hotel battle

San Antonio was the 10th most popular domestic destination for U.S. travelers in 2014 ? several spots ahead of Austin, which ranked 16th, according to a Hotels.com report. Yet, the Capital City is giving the Alamo City a run for its money in the hotel revenue race. New data from Source Strategies Inc., an Alamo City-based hospitality industry consulting firm, shows that San Antonio?s hotel sector generated $296.6 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2015. Hotels in the Austin-Round?

MSNBC

Guitars, Rings and Cameras: Welcome...

Guitars, Rings and Cameras: Welcome to the Land of Lost Luggage

Tucked away in rural northeastern Alabama, miles from any major airport, is the last stop for the nation's lost luggage.
Tourists Won't Stop Getting Naked a...

Tourists Won't Stop Getting Naked at This Sacred Temple

Cambodia's Angkor Wat is among the world's most magnificent holy sites. But a rash of nude photo shoots has now created a scandal.
'100 Deadly Days': U.S. Auto Deaths...

'100 Deadly Days': U.S. Auto Deaths Spike Before Summer

The council found that monthly motor-vehicle deaths increased a total of 8 percent over the past six months compared to the same period a year before.
More Airport Security Badges Missin...

More Airport Security Badges Missing as Pols Demand Answers

Some of the badges were not reporting lost or stolen for weeks, meaning they were not quickly deactivated.
Eiffel Tower Closes as Staff Strike...

Eiffel Tower Closes as Staff Strike Over Pickpockets

"There have always been pickpockets at the Eiffel Tower, but we are now facing an organized network", said a union representative.
Tourists Flock to Cuba Before It Lo...

Tourists Flock to Cuba Before It Loses Old World Charm

NewYorkTimes

Weekend Miser: Campsites in the Hea...

Weekend Miser: Campsites in the Heart of New York City

There are some great opportunities to pitch a tent in the city, including Central Park, Prospect Park and Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.
In Transit: Celebrating ?The Goonie...

In Transit: Celebrating ?The Goonies? in Oregon

Goonies Day, scheduled for next month in Astoria, Ore., will pay tribute to the movie that has been a fan favorite for 30 years.
Update: National Parks Gear Up for ...

Update: National Parks Gear Up for Summer Rush

From Arizona to Wyoming, the latest developments and improvements at America?s parks and historic sites.
Choice Tables: In Omaha, Farmers an...

Choice Tables: In Omaha, Farmers and Chefs Are Good Together

In some of the city?s most inviting restaurants, it?s not just ingredients that are homegrown; the chefs and owners are, too.
Check In: Hotel Review: Tierras Ena...

Check In: Hotel Review: Tierras Enamoradas

Seclusion and adventure can be had at a sprawling eco resort in a Costa Rican rain forest.
Bites: Restaurant Report: The Grey ...

Bites: Restaurant Report: The Grey in Savannah, Georgia

A carefully restored former bus depot serves as a home for a talented chef whose pared-down dishes let local products shine.

Infozine

NOAA 2015 Hurricane Outlook

NOAA 2015 Hurricane Outlook

This week, May 24-30, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
Motorists Encouraged to Give Turt...

Motorists Encouraged to Give Turtles a Brake, Video

The three-toed box turtle is the species most often seen crossing roads in Missouri.
Afghanistan Travel Warning

Afghanistan Travel Warning

The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unstable, and the threat to all U.S. citizens in Afghanistan remains critical.
Philippines Travel Warning

Philippines Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu Archipelago, certain regions and cities of the island of Mindanao, and the southern Sulu Sea area.
University of Kansas Artist Insta...

University of Kansas Artist Installs, City Fields, in Mount Vernon Triangle, Washington, DC

Herds of deer and swooping hawks have come into the heart of Washington, DC as artist Rachel Schmidt's 160 foot original art, City Fields, is installed on May 18th at 5th & K Streets, NW in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood of Washington, DC.
Avoiding Norovirus when Swimming ...

Avoiding Norovirus when Swimming

Norovirus was the second-leading cause of outbreaks in untreated recreational water, such as lakes, from 1978-2010. Norovirus can live in water for several months or possibly even years.

PhoCusWright

In Online Travel, Size Matters

In Online Travel, Size Matters

In Online Travel, Size MattersFour Questions about the Future of Online Travel Agencies With Expedia swallowing Travelocity, Orbitz considering a sale, eDreams Odigeo in transition and Priceline stoking fears around the world, every online travel company and hotelier must confront a rising strategic reality: It's become a two-horse race, and the leaders are pulling ahead of the pack. Online travel agencies (OTAs) are the fastest growing distribution channel globally, and the two largest, Priceline and Expedia, outpace the market by no small margin. Combined gross bookings of the two jumped from 38% of global OTA sales in 2011 to 47% in 2013 (see Figure 1). And the continued, super-charged organic growth of Priceline's Booking.com, as well as Expedia's assumption of the Travelocity volume largely in 2014 (and Australia's Wotif), mean global share of the two leaders will only accelerate in 2014 and 2015. Figure 1 The rest of the OTA market is growing, but at a pace far...
U.K. Proves Perfect Storm for Mobil...

U.K. Proves Perfect Storm for Mobile Bookings

The time is finally here: The majority of U.K. travelers own a mobile device, and travel companies have the mobile web and app experience down pat. And now, mobile bookings are beginning to flourish. By 2016, 25% of online bookings will be mobile, up from 12% just three years before. In Europe, the U.K. has the highest share of total web traffic from smartphones and tablet. Learn more about the U.K.'s mobile travel market with Phocuswright's U.K. Online Travel Overview Tenth Edition.
Mobile Travel Shopping Hits Tipping...

Mobile Travel Shopping Hits Tipping Point ? But PC Still Dominates Booking

Mobile devices have invaded the early travel planning funnel. During 2014, one third of U.S. leisure travelers used their smartphone to research where to go for an upcoming vacation while only slightly fewer, 32%, used the device to shop for travel products like flights and hotels. According to a new Innovation Edition publication, the growth in mobile travel shopping has been extremely impressive, up from 26% the prior year. While consumers might be breaking out their devices to research and plan their trips, the overwhelming majority still head to the PC (78%) when it comes time to book. Nevertheless, mobile booking is growing. One in four leisure travelers used their smartphone to book leisure in 2014, up from only 15% from 2013. "The industry has been very focused on mobile booking for quite some time now. And while that growth is exciting to watch unfold, it's only just part of the story," says Phocuswright's senior analyst, consumer research, Marcello Gasdia. "More...
Canada's Travel Industry Fails to K...

Canada's Travel Industry Fails to Keep Pace as Travelers' Mobile Expectations Accelerate

Home to one of the first leaders in the global smartphone revolution, the storied maker of the BlackBerry messenger and smartphones, Canada has been somewhat sleepy when it comes to the mobile travel revolution. According to Phocuswright's Canadian Online Travel Overview Third Edition: 2012-2016 (a European and Global Edition publication), gross bookings via mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) remain well below that of the U.S., Europe and even Asia, with mobile as a share of all online bookings still in the low single digits. "When it comes to mobile, Canada's travel industry – with a few exceptions – has let the consumer pass it by. The Canadian traveler is already there," said Phocuswright's vice president, research, Douglas Quinby. "Four in five Canadian travelers own mobile devices and a significant minority of travelers use their devices across a range of travel activities." More than 40% of mobile travelers researched local activities or destinations on...
Europe's Online Travel Market Will ...

Europe's Online Travel Market Will Expand 7% in 2015, Despite Economic Challenges

A new European and Global Edition study published by Phocuswright finds that European online travel gross bookings will march forward at a brisk pace in 2015, despite continued economic sluggishness and geopolitical turbulence. Optimism over Europe's recovery experienced in the first half of 2014 proved short-lived, as the French economy continued its slowdown into 2015 and Greece's fiscal woes continued to weigh heavily on Euro Zone stability. Despite these challenges, online bookings expanded by 8% in 2013 and will continue to climb at a similar pace through 2016, according to Phocuswright's European Online Travel Overview Tenth Edition. "While growth in the total travel market has slowed, there is still ample opportunity to shift market share between Europe's many travel intermediaries and suppliers," states Luke Bujarski, director, research at Phocuswright. Intense competition driven by disruptive innovation across all the major travel segments including air and...
Sputtering European Economy Halts H...

Sputtering European Economy Halts Holiday Spending Recovery

After climbing out from the depths of the global economic recession, Europe appeared to be on track for a lasting recovery. But despite some signs of progress, the region's economic rollercoaster continued in 2014, amid fears of a renewed slowdown in the region's largest economies. Branded as Europe's growth engine, Germany sputtered in the second quarter as the country's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted. Add to that geopolitical turmoil and deflation concerns, and it is clear that Europeans have plenty to be concerned about. According to a new European and Global Edition publication, consumer travel trends for 2014 are mixed, but positive indicators remain. Although travel incidence fell in France and the U.K., a larger share of German travelers took a leisure trip versus the previous year. And while Europeans in all three markets took fewer trips, they spent more, making cutbacks among those who did travel largely symbolic. Consumer travel trends reflect a varied...

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