Monthly Archives: July 2012

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 7/16/2012


Latin America proves lucrative for U.S. airlines

For most U.S. carriers, flights to Latin America have proved profitable, financial data filed with the Department of Transportation show. During the first quarter, flights to Latin America returned a 5% operating margin, compared with a 4% operating margin for domestic flights.

International visitor spending in U.S. in May up 8%

International visitors to the U.S. in May spent $13.9 billion on tourism and travel-related activities, up 8% from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Friday. For the first five months of 2012, international tourism spending is up 12% and has created an $18.4 billion trade surplus for the U.S.

Spas very important for Chinese travelers, says Hilton

Chinese tourists are more than twice as likely to factor in whether a hotel has an on-site spa in their booking decisions than Americans, Hilton Hotels & Resorts said in a report released Tuesday.


Average jet-fuel costs in May were the same as a year ago, DOT says

The average fuel cost for U.S. airlines was $3.03 a gallon in May, the same price as a year ago, but down 3.2% compared to April prices, the Department of Transportation says. The total fuel consumption on scheduled flights in May was 1.37 billion gallons.


Customer service is at heart of American Airlines’ Twitter strategy

Dealing with American Airlines via Twitter can be downright enjoyable, Darren Booth writes. The company uses the microblogging site to disseminate information and answer customers’ questions, and it does so with a refreshingly “sincere and human approach,” he writes. Jonathan Pierce, the airline’s director of social media communications, says “our team is empowered by relating to customers, finding connections and being authentic in every response. We make sure there’s a face and voice behind each post.”

United plans 10 new routes

United Airlines announced plans to launch year-round and seasonal service to several new international and domestic routes. International routes are subject to government approval. New routes include daily, year-round service between its San Francisco hub and Taiwan, beginning April 9; daily, year-round service between San Francisco and Paris, beginning April 11; three daily flights between Denver and Williston, N.D., beginning Nov. 4; and daily service between Washington Dulles and San Salvador, El Salvador, beginning Dec. 19.

Hawaiian Airlines will add nonstop flights to New Zealand

Hawaiian Airlines has announced that it will add three nonstop flights per week between between Honolulu and Auckland, starting in March. The move will make the airline the only U.S. carrier flying to the New Zealand city. It believes that New Zealand is an untapped market, noting that the number of visitors to Hawaii from New Zealand has dropped 30% since 1999, when more nonstop flights were offered from Auckland, this feature says.


Carnival’s stricter sales policy draws more praise than criticism

When it goes into effect Aug. 1, Carnival Cruise Lines’ ban on using cash-equivalent value-adds as booking incentives will be among the tightest such policies in the industry. Even so, agents greeted the policy change with more praise than criticism after it was announced in early July.


Baby boomers lead rise in multigenerational travel

Complex multigenerational vacations are on the rise, influenced by a growing number of retiring baby boomers with dreams of making memories and plenty of money to make it a reality, this feature says. Popular family tourist activities around the world include tracing the route of explorers Lewis and Clark in Montana, a culture-laden cruise along Alaska’s Inside Passage and a safari across the Tanzanian Serengeti.

Hertz adds Porsche to Prestige lineup

Hertz added Porsche Panamera sport sedans to the lineup of high-end cars in the Hertz Prestige Collection at select locations in California, Nevada and Florida, saying it’s the first major U.S. rental brand to offer Porsches. Hertz also will become a sponsor of a Porsche racing team. Panamera prices start at about $75,000.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 7/2/2012


Los Cabos launches marketing campaign

The Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new marketing campaign targeting North American travelers. Highlighted by a series of print and digital ads, the campaign promotes activities and vacation offerings for visitors.


Tourism volume, spending in Hawaii set record growth in May

Hawaii experienced record gains in visitation and tourist spending in May, welcoming 622,899 visitors and gaining $1.1 billion in tourism revenue, the Hawaii Tourism Authority says. Tourists from the East and West coasts as well as from Canada and Japan contributed the most to the growth.

Airlines increase capacity to Hawaii by 12.6% in Q3

Airlines will offer almost 2.7 million seats on nonstop flights to Hawaii this quarter, the Hawaii Tourism Authority says. The airlines are increasing capacity by 12.6% for the third quarter, compared to the same quarter of last year. Alaska, Allegiant, Hawaiian and United airlines recently added flights to Hawaii.


Delta and United reduce capacity amid demand concerns

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines in the past week alone reduced on a combined basis “about 1% of their seats” for the second half of the year, according to Rodman & Renshaw analyst Dan McKenzie, who cited “the darkening economic outlook” as the trigger for the cuts in capacity.

Families finding it tougher to sit together in-flight

If you want to sit next to family or friends the next time you fly, better not leave it up to chance at the airport.With some airlines no longer allowing families with young children to pre-board, and others putting a premium price on more of their seats in economy, it’s getting harder to score seats together without paying extra.


Children can sail free on select Norwegian Cruise Line voyages

Norwegian Cruise Line has launched a limited-time special offer allowing children 17 and younger to be booked for free. The deal encompasses select sailings from three to 20 nights, with destinations that include Alaska, the Panama Canal and the Mediterranean.

Upcoming Norwegian Breakway will feature “Rock of Ages” musical

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the hit Broadway musical “Rock of Ages” will be performed on its upcoming ship, the Norwegian Breakaway, alongside another Broadway show, “Burn the Floor.” The Breakaway, which is scheduled to debut May 2013, will also feature a circus show, “Cirque Dreams & Dinner — Jungle Fantasy in the Spiegel Tent,” as well as performances by comedy group Second City and a “Howl at the Moon” dueling piano show.


Olympics can spell boom or bust for hotels in host cities

The Olympic Games undoubtedly represent a significant boost for the tourism and hotel industry of the host city, even helping to establish the presence of former host cities such as Salt Lake City and Beijing on the global travel market, this feature says. However, some cases also serve as a warning for future host cities, including that of Turin, Italy, which faces oversupply in the face of muted tourism demand, and of Athens, Greece, which experienced a business decline when the country’s economy slumped.