Travel News Report
Apr. 29, 2015

With US economy still uncertain, a Fed rate increase seems unlikely before fall at earliest
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
For 6.5 years, the Federal Reserve has held its key interest rate near zero, and for nearly that long the financial world has speculated about when the Fed will start raising it. Don't look for it soon. That's the view of most economists, who say a still-subpar economy and still-low inflation will keep rates at record lows at least until September.More

Consumers are spending again — but they've gotten smarter about it
The Washington Post
As retailers continue to see only modest sales growth even as gas prices have fallen, the conventional wisdom has been this: Consumers are still cautious in the wake of a bruising recession, and they're just not ready to open their wallets yet. But what if shoppers' battlescars from the recession aren't quite as bad as they've been made out to be?More

STR: Positive results in US hotel performance for March 2015
The U.S. hotel industry reported positive results in the three key performance metrics during March 2015, according to data from STR, Inc. In year-over-year results, the U.S. hotel industry's occupancy was up 2.3 percent to 66.8 percent; its average daily rate rose 4.9 percent to US$120.38; and its revenue per available room increased 7.3 percent to US$80.44.More

Online giant Amazon enables hotel bookings
Travel Weekly
Amazon this week started enabling customers to book hotel rooms through its "Destinations" site, as the world's biggest online retailer looks to benefit from the resurgence in travel spending by getting into the hotel distribution space. On Amazon Destinations, part of the Amazon Local site, users can browse for nearby hotels and local getaways from a list of regional destinations near the top of the landing page and a "sales and special offers" section toward the bottom.More

Survey: What guests want from hotel apps
Successful Meetings
The features hotel guests most want from travel apps are: Room-ready notifications, requesting room amenities, hotel services, and room upgrades. So finds a new survey of travelers by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research, which asked travelers for the first time about their preferred features for hotel and travel mobile apps.More