Travel News Report
Feb. 19, 2014

Study: Brand USA's marketing efforts working
Successful Meetings
America's first-ever global consumer brand, Brand USA, is working, according to a new study by Oxford Economics. Brand USA is a public-private partnership created by the Travel Promotion Act in March 2010. It was officially launched as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in September 2010, when the U.S. Department of Commerce named 11 travel and tourism industry leaders to serve on the group's first board of directors. It became Brand USA in 2011 and has been charged ever since with marketing the United States as a tourist destination to travelers in foreign countries.More

DFW Airport shows off automated passport control system to reduce wait times for customs
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Re-entering the U.S. is as simple as scanning your passport and answering four questions on a touch-screen kiosk. Dallas/Fort Worth Airport officially unveiled its new automated passport control system that allows U.S. and Canadian citizens a shortened customs process by having computer kiosks handle some of the work typically handled by customs agents. There are 30 kiosks that have been operational since late October and have been used by more than 320,000 passengers in the first three months, which is about 55 percent of the airport's arriving passengers.More

What Houston is learning from the next generation of Chinese guests
The Associated Press via Skift
A greeting in Chinese is important, so hotels should have fluent Mandarin speakers on staff. Teapots and comfy slippers are essential room amenities, while a traditional breakfast of congee, a rice-based porridge, and a boiled egg would be a nice touch. Cultural sensitivity also demands that white flowers be removed from lobbies, because they can symbolize death to the Chinese. These are among the cultural tips tourism officials have for hoteliers competing for Houston's fastest-growing, biggest-spending group of international visitors — critical advice for fostering a segment worth millions of dollars to the Houston economy every year.More

Hoteliers question effects of shared economy
Hotel News Now
Hotel company executives and analysts agree the new generation of alternative accommodation services might have a long-term effect on hotel industry performance. They don't agree, however, on the level of impact these services will have on their business.More