Orlando, Fla., reports receiving 55.1M visitors in 2011
Visitor numbers in Orlando, Fla., climbed 7.2% in 2011 from the previous year, reaching a new record of 55.1 million visitors, tourism group Visit Orlando says. Using data from the U.S. Office of Travel & Tourism Industries and D.K. Shifflet & Associates, the group reported that international visits numbered 3.8 million, while domestic visitation reached 51.3 million, rising 7.5% from figures in 2010.
Acapulco fights image woes as it seeks return to glory
Acapulco and Mazatlan, two Pacific coast resort cities whose images have been tarnished by Mexico’s drug wars, are on the offensive, fighting back with strong promotional campaigns, tourist-centered festivals and events and enhanced security measures in efforts to change overall visitor perceptions of the destinations.
Airlines expand basic- and premium economy classes of service
Delta Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines are instituting two levels of economy-class service. Basic-economy service will be a no-frills experience for passengers looking to spend less, and premium-economy service will offer extra perks such as more seat room and early boarding. “Our expansion of Economy Comfort gives customers more premium seats to choose from no matter where they fly on Delta,” said Glen Hauenstein, a Delta executive vice president.
Southwest Airlines will launch new routes this year
Southwest Airlines plans to launch new routes in November and take over some routes flown by AirTran Airways. Southwest acquired AirTran last year, and eventually plans to absorb all AirTran flights into the Southwest brand. However, Southwest does not plan to add service in Memphis, Tenn., this year.
Air Canada will continue with plan for low-cost carrier
Calin Rovinescu, the CEO of Air Canada, says the airline is planning to launch a low-cost carrier. “I have said repeatedly that we need to participate in this segment of the market in one manner or another. And to this end, we are evaluating various low-cost business models,” he said.
Aeromexico Vacations bumps hotel pay to 15%
Aeromexico Vacations is offering 15% commission on all land components when agents book air-hotel packages to Mexico, Central and South America. The 15% commission has no end date and is in effect for at least two months, according to MLT Vacations, operatot of Aeromexico Vacations.
Top 4 agencies dominate the travel-agent market, study shows
Research group IBISWorld has reported that more than 75% of the global travel-agency market belongs to the four largest industry groups: American Express, Carlson Cos., Expedia and Priceline.com. “However, there are still opportunities for smaller and niche operators at the regional and local city/town level,” IBISWorld said. The group also predict that rising consumer spending will boost travel-agency revenue by 3.1% at an annualized rate over the next five years.
River and ocean cruise lines for cross-marketing pact
In what appears to be an industry first, river cruise line Ama Waterways and ocean cruise line Crystal Cruises have formed a cross-marketing partnership. Each cruise line developed an exclusive offer that was emailed to past passengers with an introduction from the other brand.
Norwegian to buy cruise ship from shareholder
Norwegian Cruise Line has signed a memorandum of agreement to exercise its option to purchase the 2,000-passenger Norwegian Sky. The line has operated the Norwegian Sky under a bareboat charter with a purchase option from Ample Avenue, a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong Limited, a 50% owner of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Travelocity fights to regain market share
Travelocity, when it emerged from Sabre in 1996, pioneered the online travel agency (OTA) space. But in the 16 years since, it has fallen sharply behind its competitors in terms of online traffic. Presumably, it has also fallen behind in revenue, though as one of the four major OTAs that is not public, it does not disclose its financial results.
Airlines investing in entertainment, not roomier seats
As more airlines continue to shrink seat width and leg room, they are investing in lighter-weight and more comprehensive in-flight entertainment technologies. Mary Kirby, editor of Airline Passenger Experience magazine, explains the rationale behind these moves: “It’s of more value for an airline to add two rows worth of seats and have a good in-flight entertainment system rather than do the opposite and give passengers more legroom.”