Travel News Report
Jan. 21, 2015

Short-term economic forecast for Texas
Odessa American
Texas led the way out of the national recession, and has been adding jobs month after month for more than four years. During the 12 months ended in November, about 441,200 net new jobs were added, a record for the Lone Star State. The unemployment rate now stands well below the U.S. rate (and even farther below many states). All of the state's metropolitan statistical areas reported unemployment of less than 8 percent in November, a notable improvement in many areas.More

US international visitation up six percent
eTurbo News
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that 6.3 million international visitors traveled to the United States in October 2014, a six percent increase over October 2013. October marks the 10th consecutive month of increases in 2014 in total U.S. visits. For the first 10 months of 2014, visitation (62.7 million) was up seven percent compared to the same period in 2013.More

Strong dollar could scare tourists away from US
The Economic Times
New York restaurant owner Jeremy Merrin has seen business droop in recent weeks at his Havana Central eatery in Times Square. The reason: not enough international tourists. "We're fighting a double-whammy," said Merrin, who owns three restaurants and is on the board of the New York State Restaurant Association. More

National Security and the Visa Waiver Program
C-SPAN
VideoBriefMarc Frey talked about the possible national security risks posed by the federal government's visa waiver program, which allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days.More

Automated messaging could be the key to brand loyalty
Skift
With the rise of millennials and technology-savvy travelers, guest expectations are evolving. Hotels are finding that the current state of guest relations, general email blasts and one-off interactions with staff, is failing to cut through the noise and build loyalty with repeat guests. Today's traveler expects an increased level of personalized service and continuous, targeted communication.More