Position:Services, travel to Lebanon

The U.S. Department of State has issued a warning for travel to Lebanon to remind Americans of the dangers involved in visiting there. There have been public expressions of anti-U.S. sentiment, as well as bombings directed at U.S. franchises. While tensions on the southern border have been quiet in the past few months, the potential for violence by Hezbollah and Palestinian militants could happen without warning. State urges any Americans in Lebanon to register with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

AAA announced on May 18 2004 plans to make its routing and mapping technology available to all Internet users through a new Web site www.aaamaps.com. The new set has many of the same capabilities as the association's Internet TripTik, and includes such information as Diamond Ratings for hotels and restaurants. While Internet TripTik is ony available to members, the new technology is available to all; Internet TripTik is a more comprehensive planning tool.

The Travel Industry Association of America says the U.S. should be prepared for long lines, delays and gridlock this summer, when it expects leisure travel to rise by 3.2 percent from last summer. Suzanne Cook, TIA's senior vice president of research, says, "For the first time in years, the summer travel season will start off with a bang, and we expect it to stay strong through August." Consumers, however, are concerned with rising prices of travel. But Sandra Hughes, vice president of AAA Travel, believes rising fuel costs will not stop driving vacationers. AAA predicts a record number of Americans will travel for the Memorial Day holiday; its agents say they are seeing dramatic increases in travel interest for this spring.

According to the American Weekend Getaway Poll, conducted by Enterprise Rent-a-Car, 93 percent of respondents said they are likely to take driving weekend getaways in the next year. In addition, 20 percent responded that they are likely to consider renting a vehicle for such trips. Among other facts revealed, the study showed that one in six people (approximately 17 million Americans) have rented a vehicle for a weekend getaway in the past 12 months and that nearly seven in 10 motorists prefer weekend getaways to extended vacations because they are more economical.

Cheap Tickets has remodeled its Web site www.cheaptickets.com in response to customer feedback. The Cendant company said consumers want faster site speed, simpler page designs and user-friendly features. Cheap Tickets...

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