Travel News Report
May. 14, 2014

Commentary: Fix our Texas roadways now
The Monitor
State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa writes, "By now, it's no secret that Texas roads and highways need fixing. Chances are that you sat in traffic today longer than you wanted. By the end of the year, it is projected that the average Texan will lose 44 hours sitting in traffic this year alone. In 15 years, that wasted time doubles. That is almost 90 hours a year or almost four full days. That wasted time in traffic carries a cost: a hidden tax on Texas drivers and families."More

2014 Texas Water Summit to explore the economic implications for meeting the state's water needs
The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas will hold the 2014 Texas Water Summit: Securing Our Economic Future at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin on May 19. This summit will address the economic implications for meeting the water needs of the rapidly growing population of Texas. Topics to be discussed include water availability, agricultural water use, water for ecological needs, industrial water needs and opportunities, and opportunities for new industrial waters.More

US on track to exceed tourism goal: 100 million visitors by 2021
Successful Meetings
In May 2012, President Barack Obama unveiled the nation's first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy. Designed to increase travel to and within the United States, it set an ambitious goal: achieve 100 million annual visitors by 2021 — up 61 percent from 62 million in 2011. Two years later, the United States is on pace to not only meet its goal, but to exceed it, according to the U.S. Travel Association.More

From shutdown to shutout: How federal cuts are affecting the meetings industry
It's been two years since a U.S. General Services Administration Office of Inspector General's report on excessive spending at a GSA conference in Las Vegas triggered an explosive media outcry, the exposure of high-profile spending abuses at other government conferences, and a cascade of new policies and legislation mandating spending cuts and increased oversight of federal travel spending. The bottom line: a slew of canceled or postponed government meetings, a steep drop in attendance by federal employees at conferences, and, according to the Office of Management and Budget, $3 billion in travel savings in fiscal 2013.More

U.S. Travel's Dow addresses Senate, pushes pro-travel agenda
Successful Meetings
If they want to stimulate the U.S. economy, they need look no further than travel and tourism, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow told lawmakers in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Tourism, Competitiveness and Innovation.More

Bringing travel planning back to the destination
Verified review summaries are key to getting travel planning and booking back on DMO and hotel sites. Why?More

TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer offers 3 key tips for entrepreneurs
By Marc Wayshak
As I sit across the table from Stephen Kaufer, I sense a mind that moves at light speed. Beneath his calm demeanor, it's clear that Kaufer is constantly planning ahead. And it's not hard to see why: His company — the world's largest online travel website — gives him plenty to think about. Kaufer is the founder and CEO of Newton, Massachusetts-based TripAdvisor, which grossed $944 million last year. While the company's success is obvious, the online market is competitive and rapidly changing. Kaufer is always thinking about how his company can stay ahead of the game.More