U.S. Travel News Brief
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TSA under microscope on Sept. 11 anniversary
In the flinching aftermath of Sept. 11, Congress created the Transportation Security Administration to restore confidence in air travel. More than a decade later, lawmakers say the agency instead has destroyed it. "Despite the reality that we have not endured another successful terrorist attack since 2001, TSA is failing to meet taxpayers' expectations," a report released Sept. 10 by the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security read. "Its operations are in many cases costly, counterintuitive and poorly executed." Timed for the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the subcommittee held a hearing to broadcast the report and discuss how to streamline the organization. The study, labeled a "majority staff report," drew from 22 hearings, 15 member briefings and seven site visits. More
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Hotel fees on pace to reach record high in 2012
from TIME
In the travel world, fees charged by airlines get the most attention, and for good reason: Fliers forked out $22.6 billion in airlines fees last year, on top of flight prices that seem to be hiked higher every other month. Compared to the airlines, hotels in the U.S. are able to fly under the radar, so to speak, as they're on pace to collectively pull in a "mere" $1.95 billion in fees and surcharges in 2012. But that sum represents an all-time high, and it will come on the heels of the record high hit just last year. More
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U.S. Travel aims economic message online to conventions, beyond
from ClickZ
The Democratic and Republican national conventions have drawn thousands to their respective destinations in Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., and the U.S. Travel Association has used both events to affirm the importance of its industry to the country's economy. Since the RNC kicked off, the trade group has been running Twitter, Google search and YouTube video ads to push its pro-tourism message to government decision-makers, media and others at the conventions — and to voters watching from around the country. More
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Take the WB Studio Tour

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is an intimate experience that offers a rare glimpse at real Hollywood at work while bringing guests within inches of the action for a bird’s eye view of actual TV and film projects in the making. Find out more at www.wbtour.com

Government hotel spending: 20 percent cut possible this year
from USA Today
Between budget cuts and increased scrutiny, federal agencies are spending less on lodging contracts with hotels across the U.S., according to a new Federal Times report. That means less business for hotels that belong to giants such as Marriott, Hilton and Starwood. Federal agencies in 2011 spent about 7 percent less in 2011 compared to 2010, when they spent $308 million, the Federal Times reports. And for fiscal year 2012, the amount is on track to drop by another 20 percent, the story says, citing its analysis of figures from the Federal Procurement Data System. More
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International travel, tourism: Reaping benefits for US capital region
from The Business Monthly
International travel and tourism is a bright spot for the U.S. economy even as it remains an overlooked and often under-appreciated industry. The facts speak for themselves about the awesome power of this unseen market segment. In 2011, the United States welcomed a record 62 million international visitors. These travelers spent a record $153 billion on food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment and airfare across the U.S., an increase of 14 percent just since 2010. This level of spending helped sustain 1.2 million jobs across the country. More
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British Airways partnership adds 'gravitas' for Brand USA
from e-tid
British Airways has become the first Founding Airline Partner in the U.K. for tourism marketing body Brand USA. As a founding partner, BA will work with Brand USA on initiatives to promote the country's tourism, including trade activity and advertising campaigns in U.K. industry and consumer press. BA will receive exclusive airline recognition and Brand USA benefits in the U.K., such as priority on new initiatives, promotions and major marketing campaigns. More
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Improving upon status quo in airport security
from Travel Weekly
We've all been there: A little late getting out of the house, you've successfully run the gauntlet of getting to the airport and getting your bag checked. Then, with the clock ticking down to your departure, you hit a brick wall — in the form of an endless line at the security checkpoint. Every person ahead of you, regardless of how often they fly or what risk they might pose, must present their identification, take off their coat, shoes and belt, empty their pockets and remove their laptop, among many other things. Banging your head against the proverbial wall and mentally calculating how and when you are going to reach your destination, you would agree with the sentiments of a 2011 U.S. Travel Association-convened blue ribbon commission on aviation security, which noted that "the country that put a man on the moon [and] invented the Internet ... can and must do better." More
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Travel South introduces International Showcase!

Increase your international tourism business while EXPERIENCING the Southern U.S. at Travel South International Showcase! Space is limited! Atlanta, GA. November 26-29.

Amtrak funding in crosshairs in presidential race
from The Associated Press via The Sacramento Bee
Warning to Amtrak from Mitt Romney and Republicans: You're on your own. The platform Republicans adopted at their convention included a call for full privatization and an end to subsidies for the nation's passenger rail operator, which gobbled up almost $1.5 billion in federal funds last year. Long a political cudgel in the halls of Congress, Amtrak is among a number of transportation functions Republicans say should be turned over to the private sector — including airport security, also on the chopping block in the GOP platform. At its core, the debate juxtaposes differing visions about what role government should play in ensuring public access to services — even if they're losing money hand over fist. More
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Airlines add, adjust amenities inside jets
from Chicago Tribune via The State
After decades of relatively little change, aircraft cabins in the United States are undergoing a renaissance that promises to make the flying experience more comfortable and enjoyable for passengers, especially for those at the front of the plane. Major airlines are taking delivery of new airplanes with well-thought-out cabin amenities. At the same time, they're spending hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade the interiors of planes. More
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