Travel Business News - North America.

New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) May 16, 2010

American Express CFOs say companies are loosening travel spending limits, survey finds. An American Express co-sponsored survey of hundreds of financial executives conducted in February said their companies are easing up on limits on travel spending. The 2010 CFO Research/American Express Global Business and Spending Monitor found more than half of respondents will maintain or bolster their travel spending this year. "Overall, we're seeing some positive signs of stabilization and growing optimism about recovery," said Wendy Prewitt, vice president in the global commercial card sector at American Express. May 13, 2010

Atlantic City Atlantic City prepares for the return of summer tourism. Atlantic City, N.J., is preparing for the summer tourist season, and some hotels are filling up early. The Carisbrooke Inn is offering a sightseeing package that includes a helicopter ride at the Steel Pier, and owner John Battista said the inn is 60% booked for the summer. "Summer 2010 in A.C. is going to see more entertainment offerings than ever before, and we're looking forward to welcoming new and returning guests to experience it all," said Don Marrandino, eastern division president for Harrah's. May 13, 2010

Atlantic City Atlantic City prepares for the return of summer tourism. Atlantic City, N.J., is preparing for the summer tourist season, and some hotels are filling up early. The Carisbrooke Inn is offering a sightseeing package that includes a helicopter ride at the Steel Pier, and owner John Battista said the inn is 60 percent booked for the summer. "Summer 2010 in A.C. is going to see more entertainment offerings than ever before, and we're looking forward to welcoming new and returning guests to experience it all," said Don Marrandino, eastern division president for Harrah's. May 13, 2010

California The statistics released by the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) shows the number of tourists to California from Chinese mainland has witnessed a rapid increase in recent years and they preferred to shopping during the travel. Caroline Beteta, chief executive of the CTTC, said there are some 250,000 to 300,000 Chinese mainland tourists to California every year and the number saw a double-digit growth rate. It is expected such growth will keep in the coming five years. The CTTCC opened tourism promoting offices in Shanghai and Beijing one year ago, said Caroline, and China is the world's fastest-growing country in the number of outbound tourists. May 11, 2010

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Cruise Lines hosted nearly 500 Seattle-area VIPs, community officials and travel agents May 11 aboard the Carnival Spirit during a reception and luncheon to commemorate the shipOs new summer schedule of seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle, the lineOs first-ever departures from that port. The event was held in conjunction with the cityOs Maritime Festival sponsored by the Seattle chapter of the Propeller Club, a national maritime organization. Carnival underwrote all of the food, beverages and entertainment for this event, allowing the Propeller Club to donate attendeesO registration fees, totaling more than USD20,000, to charity. Carnival Spirit will offer week-long Glacier Bay cruises to Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Victoria and Tracy Arm, from May 11 to Aug. 31, bringing 40,000 visitors to Seattle. The ship will operate a similar schedule in 2011. For more information, visit www.bookccl.com. May 13, 2010

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Cruise Lines launched its first-ever cruises from Seattle May 11 when the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit departed on a seven-day voyage to Alaska. It is the first of 17 cruises that will bring about 40,000 passengers to the city this season. The new will run through Aug. 31, with week-long Glacier Bay cruises departing every Tuesday from the portOs new Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91. Ports of call include Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria, and the itinerary includes scenic cruising at Tracy Arm Fjord. The cruises will feature OJust For AlaskaO menu items featuring local fish, game and other ingredients. Reservations are currently being accepted for CarnivalOs 2010 Alaska cruises from Seattle. For more information, call 800-327-9501 or visit www.BookCCL.com. May 12, 2010

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity CruisesO Celebrity Constellation now has some of the features introduced on the lineOs Solstice-class ships after undergoing a 15-day dry-dock revitalization. The ship now has Tuscan Grille steakhouse, Bistro on Five creperie, an ice-topped Martini Bar, the Caf al Bacio and Gelateria, and the Cellarmasters wine bar that allows passengers to automatically pour themselves a glass of wine. The ship also has more suites, with new furniture, flat-screen TVs, upholstery, bedding and carpeting. Restyled staterooms have with new carpeting, flat-screen TVs, upholstery and bedding. Following its current seven-night cruise through the Norwegian Fjords, Celebrity Constellation will operate a series of 12-night Scandinavia and Russia cruises, followed by an eight-night Northern Europe and Mediterranean cruise from Amsterdam to Barcelona. From Barcelona, the ship will operate seven-night Mediterranean roundtrips before a 14-night trans-Atlantic voyage departing Barcelona Nov. 6, ending in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. There, Celebrity Constellation will present two consecutive 14-night Exotic Caribbean cruises, prior to embarking on a 15-night Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego on Dec. 18. For more information, call 800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com. May 11, 2010

Choice Hotels Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels International, Inc. added The State House Inn of Springfield, Ill., to its portfolio of historic, unique and boutique hotels across North America and the Caribbean. Listed on the Springfield Register of Historic Buildings, The State House Inn completed an USD8 million makeover in 2003. The property sits in the heart of downtown, across the street from the Illinois State Capitol and within walking distance of restaurants, the Prairie Capital Convention Center and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Just a few minutes away, guests find the Abraham Lincoln Airport; parks; gardens; museums; zoo; and major Abraham Lincoln historic sites, including the 16th PresidentOs home, tomb and law office. Debuting in April 2010, the propertyOs GovernorOs Ballroom is...

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