Travel Business News - North America.


New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) Oct 23, 2011

Expert offers "truth" about condition of the hotel industry The hotel industry is still seeing strong demand in markets such as New York and Washington, D.C., and the hotel construction pipeline is showing renewed activity, contrary to popular belief, said Bruce Ford, an executive at Lodging Econometrics. In addition, the industry has been maintaining positive performance for the past 18 months and shows no signs of being affected by recession in the global economy. This muted but steadily growing supply coupled with robust demand will lead to higher occupancy and room rates as the industry stabilizes, Ford said. Oct 19, 2011

Lenders, borrowers eye maturing debt in hotel properties Owners of hotel properties with maturing commercial mortgage-backed securities loans should be flexible and prepare for the possibility of resorting to pay-downs, modifications or using property-improvement-plan money to restructure debts, advised franchisers and other panelists at the Fishing for Solutions conference in Grapevine, Texas. "You're going to see deleveraging.... It's got to happen," said Bob Massey, vice president of hospitality assets for TriMont Real Estate Advisors. Oct 19, 2011

Added Tips- Hotel Bars Upscale NYC bars start adding tips to the tab. Some of New York City's upscale hotel bars and nightclubs will add gratuities of 18% to 20% to patrons' tabs. The practice is raising the hackles of some patrons, and Jimmy at the James Hotel dropped the practice after a blog featured an unhappy customer's story last month. Oct 18, 2011

AH&LA-American Hotel and Lodging Association Coalition advances U.S. visa and entry reforms . The American Hotel and Lodging Association recently organized a coalition of travel and business-related organizations to launch the Discover America Partnership. The Coalition will advance visa and entry reforms in order to regain the share of the international traveler market the United States held in 2000. Oct 17, 2011

Amelia Island CVB Amelia Island Voted Tops in Five Categories of 2011 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards. Amelia Island, Florida placed in five categories in the 2011 Cond Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, including a #8 ranking among the Top 10 Islands in the United States. This is the fifth consecutive year Amelia Island has been voted a Top 10 island destination, finishing this year ahead of Hilton Head, S.C. and Cumberland Island, Ga. on a list topped by Maui, Hawaii. Three Amelia Island hotels were also ranked in four other categories: Top 30 Small Resorts in the U.S., Top 150 Resorts in the U.S., Top 50 Small Hotels in the U.S., and Top 100 travel experiences in the world. The Fairbanks House, a 12-room Amelia Island bed and breakfast inn located in the historic district of Fernandina Beach, was voted #2 in the Top 50 Small Hotels in the US, and #56 in the Top 100 Travel Experiences in the World. The Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, a 25-room, oceanfront boutique hotel, was ranked #6 in the Top 30 Small Resorts in the US. Additionally, the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, a 444-room beachfront resort, was also named in the awards, voted #46 among Top U.S. Mainland Resorts. The awards are based on the results of the magazine's annual Readers' Choice Survey, in which more than 28,800 travelers voted this year. Winners will be published in the November issue. Oct 20, 2011

American Express After adopting new standards, American Express network shrinks . Strategic changes implemented this year at the American Express Retail Travel Network led to 20% in agency attrition but did not cause any loss of revenue, American Express said. Oct 18, 2011

Amtrak Amtrak carried nearly 30.2 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2011 ending Sept. 30, marking the highest ridership total since the National Railroad Passenger Corporation started operations in 1971, and the eighth ridership record during the last nine years. Ridership versus the prior year is up by more than 5 percent, and ticket revenue is up by more than 8 percent, despite significant weather related disruptions in the Northeast, Central and Western U.S. Last week in St. Louis, Amtrak recognized a suburban St. Louis woman as the representative 30 millionth passenger. Rochelle Lathan rode the Texas Eagle from Alton, Ill., to Springfield on Sept. 28, the day the 30 million passenger mark was reached. OThirty million passengers is not just a statistic. That number is made up of real people who live real lives and use Amtrak for personal, business and recreational travel,O said Emmett Fremaux, the head of the Amtrak Marketing and Product Development Department, who presented Lathan with an oversized Amtrak ticket and two 30-day rail passes. Factors contributing to the continuing success of Amtrak include high gasoline prices, continued growth in business travel on the high-speed Acela Express trains with free Wi-Fi service -- with more AmtrakConnect deployments coming soon on other services across the country -- the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel and effective marketing campaigns. For more information, call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Oct 17, 2011

ARC September air-ticket sales by travel agents rose 6.43%, ARC reports. The ARC reports that the dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies in September climbed 6.43% in the first nine months of 2011, compared with the same period last year. Ticket sales from January to September 2011 amounted to USD64.2 billion, compared with 2010's USD60.3 billion, while total sales in September reached USD6.978 billion, rising 6.13% from last year's figures, the ARC reports. Total transactions for September dropped 2.71%, to 12.1 million, while domestic and international fares for the month rose 6.59% and 2.58%, respectively. Oct 17, 2011

Arik Air Arik Air US - Connects Corporate America With Leading Nigerian Professional Association. Arik Air, West Africa's largest commercial and Africa's fastest growing airline, has been named the official airline for the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lagos Chapter. The 22nd Annual General Meeting will be held from October 14th -- October 21st in Lagos, Nigeria. The theme of the conference explores how public relations can best be used to galvanize the Nigerian public towards the achievement of national targets and objectives. As the US is globally seen as being at the forefront of PR initiatives, strategies and best practices, the NIPR wanted to connect with a well established US PR expert to deliver their keynote speech. As the official airline sponsor, Arik Air will be flying Claudine Moore, founder of C. Moore Media, International Public Relations to attend as the keynote speaker. "We are dedicated to connecting corporate American companies and brands that have business interests in Africa, especially during this time of unprecedented growth in the region," said Robert Brunner, Vice President America's, Arik Air. The Arik brand is synonymous with efficiency, customer-commitment, adherence to aviation policies & standards and an avant-garde in providing quality aviation services. As a result of its growing reputation and demand Arik Air recently increased the number of flights it provides, and provides the only non-stop flights between JFK and to Lagos with connections from Lagos to many West African capital cities destinations such as Accra (Ghana), Monrovia (Liberia), Dakar (Senegal), Banjul (The Gambia), Cotonou (Benin), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Bamako (Mali) and Freetown (Sierra Leone). This is the first time Arik Air will be partnering with the NIPR, and it is part of their commitment to connecting corporate American companies and brands to the world's fastest--growing region. Oct 17, 2011

Atlantic City, N.J The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) in Atlantic City, N.J., approved a $2.5 million Boardwalk Supplemental Lighting Project to procure, install and maintain new street lights and street end poles along the cityOs iconic Boardwalk. OThis project is a collaborative partnership with local government that improves lighting along nearly the entire Boardwalk that will greatly improve the overall Boardwalk experience,O said John F. Palmieri, CRDAOs executive director. The project includes the installation of 101 new street lights along the Boardwalk between Jackson and Albany avenues and Rhode Island and Caspian avenues, and 72 street-end decorative poles that will be wired for cameras to address public safety from Jackson to Caspian avenues. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2012. For more information, visit Oct 12, 2011

Avis Rent A Car Avis Rent A Car and Ink from Chase, the business card from Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., have announced multi-year agreement to offer savings and enhanced benefits on Avis car rentals to Ink from Chase business card customers. As part of the agreement, Avis will provide Ink small-business customers with benefits for enrolling in Avis Corporate Awards, the companyOs car rental program for small firms. These include faster reward days. Avis Corporate Awards members earn one rental point for each paid rental day. Once the threshold has been achieved, members automatically receive a Reward Day Certificate for a future rental. Ink customers can earn Reward Day Certificates at an accelerated pace. Ink customers receive lower rates on Avis vehicles and discounts on amenities such as where2 GPS navigation rentals. Ink members also get member-only offers, such as vehicle upgrades and additional discounts. Ink from Chase also offers customers rapid accumulation of rewards and cash back, featuring five points per dollar spent on office supplies, telecommunication services and cable services on Ink Classic and 5 percent cash back in the same categories on Ink Cash. For...

To continue reading