Travel Business News Alert - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) May 27, 2013

Australian tourists spending big money on trips to the United States With the Aussie dollar worth more than the greenback in 2012 and everything from electronic goods to designer clothes in the US at bargain prices compared to stores in Australia, Aussie tourists have been on a buying frenzy. A record number of bargain-hunting Australians armed with credit cards and wallets stuffed with cash have been flying to the US and spending big. According to the US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Australians spent a record-breaking $US5.5 billion in America in 2012, an increase of 11 per cent on 2011. Australia ranks number eight in international visitor spending in the US, with northern neighbour Canada number one with $US26.1 billion, then Japan ($US16.6 billion), UK ($US13 billion), Mexico ($US10.1 billion), Brazil ($US9.3 billion), China ($US9.2 billion) and Germany ($US7 billion). Australia edged out France, which came in ninth with $US5.3 billion and 10th place was India with $US4.9 billion. "Visitors from Australia have spent record levels on US travel and tourism goods and services in eight out of the last 10 years, helping to propel Australia up in the rankings to our eighth largest market abroad in 2012," the US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries report states. While Aussie tourists have been going on buying frenzies in the US, the big movers have been the Chinese, with figures showing Chinese visitor spending skyrocketing 19 per cent in 2012. In 2008 the Chinese were not in the top 10, but with the Chinese middle class growing there has been double-digit growth in visitor spending in the US the past three years. California has been a big benefactor, with the average Chinese visitor spending $US7,105 in California, the most of any overseas nation, with the average Aussie tourist spending $US4,782 in the state. Australians are big shoppers, but they also like to spend cash on restaurants, sightseeing trips, amusement parks and stay in nice hotels while in America. The research has found Chinese tourists tend to stay in cheap hotels and spend little on food, with a large percentage of their cash devoted to shopping. May 26, 2013

SeaWorld Entertainment Reports Net Loss in First Quarter SeaWorld Entertainment reported financial results for the quarter ending March 31. The company generated total revenue of $238.6 million, an increase of $26.2 million, or 12 percent, over the same period in 2012. Adjusted EBITDA was $11.1 million compared to an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $6.2 million in the same quarter in 2012. The company reported a net loss for the first quarter of 2013 of $40.4 million, or $0.49 per share, compared to a net loss of $45.1 million, or $0.55 per share, over the same period in 2012. OAfter our successful Initial Public Offering last month, we are pleased to report strong results for the first quarter of 2013 in which we generated a 12 percent increase in total revenue,O Jim Atchison, president and CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment, said. OThis improvement was primarily from a 10 percent increase in total revenue per capita driven by the ongoing execution of our pricing and yield management strategies. We are excited about the success of our IPO and look forward to 2013 and beyond as we continue to focus on growing our globally recognized parks, brands, and intellectual property to drive revenue and Free Cash Flow growth.O May 23, 2013

SeaWorld Orlando Officially Opens Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin SeaWorld Orlando is making a big bet on penguins [ETH] and itOs doing so with a multi-million-dollar attraction that isnOt your usual penguin zoo display. The theme park officially opens Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, to the public on May 24, but offered press previews on May 23. The new family attraction, part of a new OrealmO at SeaWorld, takes guests on a simulated voyage to Antarctica, combining cutting-edge ride technology and up-close encounters with a colony of nearly 250 penguins in their natural habitat. Guests begin their journey by learning about Puck, a young penguin who is born and then leaves his nest to explore the outside world of icebergs, ice caves, snow capped mountains and high winds. Guests board one of four eight-passenger simulator ride car and can choose one of two levels of exploration [ETH] Wild Expedition or Mild Expedition [ETH] for various degrees of ride intensity. Designers say each version has multiple variations for a feeling of unpredictability. OWhen our little hero penguin learns to waddle and slide, weOll feel what itOs like as the car moves and reacts to the storyline,O said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks & EntertainmentOs creative director. OWhen he takes his first swim or barely escapes danger, our guests will feel as if theyOre right there with him. On this adventure, we learn that weOre a lot like penguins. WeOll find we need each other and our families to survive.O When guests disembark the simulator ride cars, they find themselves in a live penguin habitat, chilled to 30 degrees, separated only by a low glass wall. On the other side of that wall are 250 penguins representing four different species: Adelie, gentoo, king and rockhopper penguins. New technologies combine to create a freezing but dry climate, allowing guests to spend time in the penguinsO world. Guests then proceed through insulated revolving doors to another, warmer area where they can view penguins swimming, diving and racing at top speed through a giant tank. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin also includes educational elements. Kids can discover 18 species of penguins carved into the rocks in the plaza. They can engage with the attraction using interactive touch screens and talk with SeaWorld educators to learn more about the importance of community and how penguin colonies work together. Antarctica also includes Expedition Caf, featuring American, Asian and Italian...

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