Travel News Report
Oct. 17, 2012

Erratic demand trends, economic jitters complicate 2013 forecasting
Business Travel News
Predicting corporate travel demand and future pricing trends never is an easy task. Each year seems to present an ever more challenging set of circumstances for prognosticators to analyze, and it's no different entering 2013. Unease around Europe's economic prospects, volatile jet fuel costs, the U.S. presidential election and unrest in North Africa and the Middle East are just some conditions to consider. To assist in forecasting, it's instructive to review how demand has been trending, but on that front, recent indicators may be as inconsistent as ever.More

17 hot food and beverage trends in restaurants and hotels for 2013
Hospitality Net
Consultants Baum+Whiteman say that a flavor a day keeps recession at bay. Restaurant chains, hotels and smart independents are ramping up their flavor profiles, chucking artificial stuff, exploring whole new worlds of real ingredients — especially at bars. Big snackification of America in hotel lobbies and fast feeders. Old fogey chains doing fast-casual disco dancing. Dumbelling at fast feeders. Plus: A big bunch of buzzwords for the year ahead.More

Travel exports continue to outpace overall export growth in 2012
U.S. Travel Association
David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on Oct. 11's Commerce Department announcement regarding August exports. More

Retail sales post another strong gain
The Associated Press via USA Today
Americans stepped up their spending at retail businesses in September. Retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said. That followed a 1.2 percent increase in August, which was revised slightly higher. Both were the largest gains since October 2010. A second report said companies restocked their shelves at a solid pace in August. The combination of higher stockpiles and increased sales should help boost economic growth.More

Travelers hit with fees every step of the trip
USA Today
Airlines aren't the only ones in the travel industry that are charging fees for services and products that once were free. Hotels, rental car firms and cruise ships are joining in.More

After a slack period, hotels are sprucing up
The New York Times
Hotel owners in the United States are increasing their spending on improvements to their properties this year, upgrading guest rooms, restaurants, technology and other amenities. A new survey of owners estimated that spending would reach $5 billion this year, the most since 2008 and up from $3.75 billion last year, said Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University and author of the survey. Capital expenditures fell to $3.3 billion in 2009, in the depths of the recession, and dropped further, to $2.7 billion, in 2010, he said. More