Travel News Report
Aug. 12, 2015

Lockhart: Fed 'close' to hiking interest rates
Reuters via CNBC
Economic conditions in the United States have largely returned to normal and a Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates should come soon, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Aug. 10. "I think the point of 'liftoff' is close," Lockhart said in prepared remarks for an address to the Atlanta Press Club. More

US tightens visa waiver program amid foreign fighters concerns
The United States announced tighter security measures on Thursday for visitors from the 38 countries in its visa waiver program, which include European nations that have seen hundreds of residents traveling to fight with militant groups in Syria and Iraq. The changes require use of e-passports — paper passports that contain chips carrying biometric information — and expand use of U.S. air marshals on international flights, the Department of Homeland Security said.More

6 reasons gas prices could fall below $2 a gallon
The Fiscal Times via CNBC
The price of gas is expected to fall below $2 a gallon by the time the New Year rolls around. Gas hasn't been below the $2 mark since 2009, when the U.S. was in the depths of the recession. Drivers are already paying about 89 cents less a gallon than they were a year ago, and the price is expected to keep dropping. More

Travel industry added more jobs in July
Successful Meetings
Travel industry employment reached an all-time record high in July, according to the U.S. Travel Association, which published an analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor's latest jobs report. According to the analysis, the travel industry added 13,400 jobs last month, bringing total travel industry employment to a record 8.1 million.More

US hotel industry: Good and getting better
Hotel News Now
It's one thing to talk about optimism, it's another thing to have data to back it up. Presenters during Day One of the Hotel Data Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, used performance and economic data to support a sunny view of industry health now and into the near future. "The last five years have been a veritable party for this industry," said Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, during a general session titled "Setting the stage: A complete overview." More

Wi-Fi connectivity at 39,000 feet: What are the sticking points?
As connected consumers, we're increasingly running our lives from smart devices, yet despite the fact that we have high-speed internet access at home, at work, on the move and even underground at London's tube stations, air passengers can only get online on 24 percent of all miles flown. More