Travel News Report
Dec. 31, 2013

Southwest Airlines opens 5 new cities in 1 day
The Dallas Morning News
From April 15: Southwest Airlines began service to five new cities, the most one-day launches in the nearly 42-year-old carrier's history.More

Tourist visitor centers go mobile to meet travelers where they're at
Skift
From May 15: Cities across the U.S. are closing the doors on their storefront visitor bureaus and taking their message to the road. At least 10 cities have done away with the stationary institutions and pimped out trucks and vans with iPads, map murals, and music to draw tourists to this new generation of visitor centers.More

Sporting goods tax may go to parks — as it was intended
Austin Business Journal
From Feb. 25: Sales tax collected on sporting goods such as camping gear and fishing tackle is supposed to fund state county and municipal parks — plus beaches — under current law. But the Legislature has been diverting these funds for years to balance the budget, according to state Rep. Lyle Larson's office.More

6 hotel social media marketing predictions for 2013
Hospitality Net
From Jan. 2: As hotel operators and marketers face another fresh, promising new year ahead, many are watching the social media space closely to gauge the level of time, expertise and financial investment that will be required to make it all worthwhile. The following are six quick social media predictions for the hotel industry in 2013.More

Texas named among top global regions to visit
Houston Business Journal
From Oct. 31: Texas has been named among the Top 10 must-visit regions in 2014 by Lonely Planet. Texas ranked fifth on the travel media site's 10 destination recommendations. A panel of travel experts picked the locations based on their "natural beauty and cultural riches," according to the site.More

With restored funding, all Texas state parks are open for business
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
From July 4: 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