Travel News Report
Jul. 10, 2013

With restored funding, all Texas state parks are open for business
The Texas Legislature, highly criticized for its drastic cuts of state park funding two years ago, came close to redeeming itself in this year's regular session by restoring much of the system's budget for 2014-2015. That means that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will have enough money to keep all 95 state parks open, as well as funding to address some of the long-neglected infrastructure and maintenance needs.More

Comptroller's economic outlook
Texas Ahead
Job growth, sales tax collections and building permits all signal that the Texas economy continues to outpace the national economy. Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 33,100 jobs during April 2013. Between April 2012 and April 2013, Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 3 percent.More

Travel employment continues to grow
Successful Meetings
Although the national unemployment rate remains unchanged at 7.6 percent, the travel industry continues to create jobs, according to the U.S. Travel Association, which recently released an analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor's June jobs report.More

Travel industry stands at 'big data crossroads'
Travel Industry Wire
Big data has the potential to transform how travel companies deliver services to travelers, according to a major independent global study. The study cautions, however, that the industry is at a "big data crossroads," and that businesses must make big data an urgent priority in order to truly maximize its benefits and ensure a more intelligent and responsive travel experience in the process.More

Texas tourism may go suborbital
Austin Business Journal
About 500 people have traveled to space, and a few have traveled to space commercially. You can expect that to change — and Texas could be involved in a big way. The last decade has seen the first leisure travelers go to space. Since 2001, seven individuals have purchased eight orbital flights (one passenger flew twice) for up to $35 million per flight. Austin software and gaming mogul Richard Garriott was one of them.More

Is this the new golden age of customer service?
American Express OPEN Forum
Look around and you'll notice plenty of evidence that the golden age of customer service is dead. However, it doesn't have to be that way. Technology advancements are creating new ways for businesses to provide outstanding customer service not possible before. Small businesses that arm themselves with these new ways to keep customers happy will enjoy loyal followers that spread the word, and will gain an edge over the competition. The following are some tips to help you provide stellar customer service in the technology age, like it's still 1955.More