GulfTravelUpdate.com Links to News and Updates
on Oil Spill Impact
from USA Today
As BP starts tests to plug its blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Travel Association has launched a new portal site, GulfTravelUpdate.com, that consolidates links to travel and recovery updates in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi — states directly affected by the spill that started on April 20. GulfTravelUpdate.com includes links to beach cams, official advisories and other traveler information from federal, state and local sources, travel deals, and oil spill news coverage and an interactive map featuring the spill's impact from USA Today.
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Gulf Spill Has Not Fouled Most Beaches but Hurts Tourism
from USA Today
The massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has not fouled the vast majority of the area's beaches but is still scaring tourists away, according to a report to be released last week. Almost all beach closures from the spill have been clustered in three areas of Louisiana, according to the 20th annual report on water quality at U.S. beaches by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The council is a non-profit, non-partisan environmental advocacy group that used government data for its "Testing the Waters" report.
Claims Administrator Working on Criteria to
Compensate Gulf Businesses
from Travel Weekly
Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, reassured Congress and tourism businesses last week that he intends to have an "equitable" claims process in place within a few weeks to start processing requests for compensation out of the $20 billion escrow fund that BP is establishing for damage claims. Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, Feinberg said he expects BP, which is currently administering damage claims out of its general revenues, will hand over the operation around the middle of August.
Get the Most Happiness Out of a Vacation
There's good news and bad news about your upcoming vacation. It comes from a pair of recent studies of the Dutch, who ought to know a thing or two about the subject. Dutch workers on average are entitled to 25 days off a year and use 23 of them, according to a survey by online travel broker Expedia.com; Americans on average are offered 12 days off and take only nine.
Are the Arizona Travel Boycotts Hurting Hotels?
Too Early to Say
from USA Today
Early hotel data suggest that Phoenix-area hotels don't appear to be hurting from the Arizona travel boycotts launched since the state passed its controversial immigration law in April. But experts say the statistics don't yet paint a clear picture of the boycotts' impact - and may not for months. Arizona tourism watchers are waiting to understand the fallout from travel boycotts launched by a still-growing list of municipalities - such as Los Angeles and San Francisco - and organizations, such as the Presbyterian Church, which voted to boycott Arizona travel last week.
2010 Consumer Trends: Behold the New American Traveler
from Travel Weekly
Although most economists have declared the Great Recession over, its specter continues to weigh heavily on the minds of consumers. They have moderated their spending behavior across many categories, yet spending on travel -- seemingly the epitome of discretionary spending -- continues to attract nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars each year. The Great Recession notwithstanding, the average American traveler took four leisure trips during the past year and spent more than $3,500 on leisure travel services.
Airline Fares Rising
from The Associated Press
If you think airfares have been rising, it's not your imagination. Figures just released from the government, while a bit dated, show that airline prices in the first three months of this year rose nearly 5 percent from a year earlier. And that doesn't include baggage fees and other extras. But if you take a step back, air travel still looks like a bargain. Average fares are 25 percent lower than they were in 1999 after adjusting them for inflation, the government says.
Travel Industry Hails Senate Effort to Improve Visa Processing For Foreign Visitors
from Hotel Interactive
The U.S. Travel Association recently praised Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for her tireless efforts and hailed the inclusion of a provision permitting the testing of secure visa videoconferencing for aspiring foreign visitors in the state and foreign operations appropriations bill. "The deployment of videoconference capability for overseas travelers will go a long way in helping to achieve the President's ambitious goal of doubling exports under his National Export Initiative," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
Find Out What Travelers Want at Marketing Outlook Forum
from the U.S. Travel Association
What does the traveler want to do for fun today, and what will future travelers prefer? Join us at U.S. Travel’s 2010 Marketing Outlook Forum held on October 26-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada and attend the session “The New Face of Fun: How Traveler Preferences Continue to Change.” A panel of experts led by Jerry Henry, Corporate Director of Research for Herschend Family Entertainment, will present what you need to know about your target customers and how to use this information to make solid marketing decisions. Learn more about Are We There Yet? THE ROAD TO RECOVERY, and how to maximize your organization’s return on its marketing investments. Register by September 10 and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 2 free nights during the Forum at the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino. Stay an extra night in Vegas, and attend Acxiom’s Travel Marketers Continuing Education Workshop on October 28 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, brought to you at no additional cost by Acxiom, Title Sponsor of the 2010 Marketing Outlook Forum.
To register, go to www.ustravel.org/events/marketing-outlook-forum. For program updates, follow us on Twitter.