Travel News Report
Feb. 27, 2013

Sporting goods tax may go to parks — as it was intended
Austin Business Journal
Sales tax collected on sporting goods such as camping gear and fishing tackle is supposed to fund state county and municipal parks — plus beaches — under current law. But the Legislature has been diverting these funds for years to balance the budget, according to state Rep. Lyle Larson's office.More

Google Glass: The next big thing in the travel industry?
In 2012, Google announced plans to create what many considered to be the next and logical step for mobile devices: interactive glasses known as Glass. Now, Google has unveiled a new video inviting the curious to experience "how it feels" to wear Glass.More

State consortium strikes deal with Southwest Airlines
Business Travel News
The first airline program that leverages purchasing power from multiple state governments is set to take effect next month. The state of Oregon partnered with the Western States Contracting Alliance, the National Association of State Procurement Officials and the State Travel Manager Alliance to implement the new program, which is supported by Anchorage, Alaska-based USTravel, includes an online booking component using GetThere and designates Southwest Airlines as its "official" carrier.More

New $205 million theme park near Houston plans to bring together roller coasters, cow milking
CultureMap Austin
It has been years since California-based developer Monty Galland made the commitment to open a 100-acre, Texas-centric theme park in the Houston area. Tomball was initially the target area (and April 2010 the target date), but the concept has dragged on a couple of years and moved down a couple of county roads, to a no-man's land between the cities of Splendora and New Caney.More

Planners lose negotiating clout, as meetings recovery takes hold
Travel Market Report
The long-awaited meetings industry recovery is finally under way, shifting the negotiating advantage away from planners to hotels, according to a new study from Colliers PKF Hospitality Research. While transient and leisure travel began turning around soon after the recession ended in 2009, hotels did not see group demand recover until 2011, according to Robert Mandelbaum, director of research information services for Colliers PKF Hospitality Research.More

How disruptive technologies in hospitality will shape 2013 and beyond
Over the recent few years, consumer behavior has changed dramatically. Easily available information coupled with the continued economic turmoil has made today's consumers extremely discerning in their choices around travel. Hoteliers in turn, with access to the same data, have to fight harder to win customers' loyalty. Just relying on standard approaches to marketing or relying on online travel agencies to fill up the rooms is no longer enough.More