Travel News Report
Oct. 24, 2012

Why tourism may prosper as an orphan
Travel Weekly
The apparent success of the partnership between the federal government and the travel industry to boost inbound travel numbers raises an interesting question: Is a Department of Tourism and/or a national tourist board the next logical "ask"? The majority of countries in the world have a tourism minister or secretary, and we are almost unique among industrialized nations in not having a national tourist board. Brand USA, the public/private initiative that promotes America with an integrated marketing campaign, comes close, but its budget, relative to the economic contributions of travel and tourism, is modest compared with our competitors.More

Oil price drops below $87; pump prices down again
The Associated Press via Google News
The price of oil fell to a three-month low Tuesday as big corporations cut earnings forecasts, raising concerns about economic growth and oil demand. Benchmark oil dropped $1.98, or 2.3 percent, to finish at $86.67 per barrel in New York. Oil has lost about 6 percent since Thursday, the biggest three-day drop in a month. That's starting to mean more relief at the gas pump for U.S. drivers. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 2 cents overnight to $3.65. The price has fallen 17 cents in the past 12 days.More

Texas unemployment dropped to 6.8 percent in September
Dallas Business Journal
The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in September, down from 7.1 percent in August and from 7.9 percent in September 2011, the Texas Workforce Commission reported. Texas' September unemployment rate was below the national rate of 7.8 percent. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area posted an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in September, the commission said.More

Texas airports keep economy soaring
Fiscal Notes
On a sweltering Saturday afternoon in June, four small aircraft are making methodical turns, descents and climbs over the city of Lockhart, just south of Austin. Each aircraft touches down briefly before powering into a takeoff at Lockhart Municipal Airport's Runway 18. Students perform these "touch-and-go" maneuvers on the 4,001-foot runway to learn basic procedure, hone their decision-making skills and refine their precision. Today, several aircraft are tied down at Lockhart.More

Travel apps lead industries in usage growth
eMarketer
Travel companies are digging deeper into mobile app development as they aim to connect with consumers at all points during the travel journey. That means providing mobile services that support everything travelers are doing during their excursions, from planning to booking to sharing their experiences. These efforts are getting consumers' attention. A May 2012 Nielsen study, "Courting Today's Mobile Consumer," showed that in the U.S. travel apps were seeing the highest year-over-year growth of any industry or product-related app category, at 116 percent, well above the growth in overall mobile app use (84 percent).More

Travel industry expects boost in tourism from US visa waiver plan
The China Post
The number of Taiwanese visitors to the United States could surge by more than 30 percent after Taiwan is included in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, local travel agents said. While the complicated process of applying for a U.S. visa and the high application fee have deterred many tourists from visiting the country, the planned inclusion of Taiwan in the program is expected to greatly boost travel interests, according to the Travel Agent Association of the Republic of China, Taiwan.More