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Business Travel Travel Industry

Hotel rates on the Rise: U.S. ranks #4 for hotels with best business outlook

As we jump over the “hump” 2012, I thought it would be helpful to share what will be happening with hotel rates this Fall as a result of the economy’s (somewhat) improvement and the fact that travelers are spending a little more money.

Hotel rates increasing

In the latest TripAdvisor Industry Index, we find that U.S. hoteliers expect pricier rates for the Fall travel season. Nearly half (47 percent) expect rates to be higher this year compared to the same time last year, while only 16 percent expect comparatively lower rates.

The top five countries where hoteliers expect higher rates are:

  • the U.S. (47 percent)
  • Brazil (42 percent)
  • Russia (42 percent)
  • Indonesia (37 percent)
  • Turkey (35 percent)

The top five countries where hoteliers expect lower rates are:

  • Greece (58 percent)
  • Spain (43 percent)
  • Italy (37 percent)
  • Australia (32 percent)
  • New Zealand (29 percent)
  • And did you know that the U.S. ranks fourth in the world for hotels with the best business outlook, while Greece ranks last?

Countries with hoteliers having the most positive outlook were, in order:

  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • United States
  • India

Countries with hoteliers having the most negative outlook were, in order:

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • New Zealand

TripAdvisor also conducted a survey on how U.S. hotels win guests. Those surveyed said discounts on rooms (58 percent) led the way, followed by special amenities like free Wi-Fi (44 percent), free parking (31 percent), rewards points (30 percent), and free newspapers (20 percent). Twelve percent of U.S. accommodations said they do not offer any specials. Ninety-three percent of U.S. respondents report offering free in-room Wi-Fi Internet access. However, 17 percent of those who do not currently offer free Wi-Fi plan to do so in the next six months.

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Travel News

Streamlining Visa Applications and What That Might Mean for the Travel Industry & US Economy

In 2000, the top tourist destination in the world was Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, just to name a few attractions. But by 2010, Orlando was no longer number one, or even number five, or ten. Though it is still is one of the top destinations for Americans to visit, the number of foreign visitors has dropped significantly.
Orlando isn’t the only city¬†to have seen such a decline. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, and San Francisco have all seen their¬†inbound tourism drop off. But why? Well, part of the reason is because following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the USA made the process of getting a tourist visa much more difficult if the traveler wasn’t from one of the countries involved in the Visa Waiver program.
However, US President Barack Obama recently announced that he has ordered this process to be streamlined in an effort to make it less cumbersome, and therefore more appealing, for foreign tourists to visit the United States. It is estimated that by speeding up the process in countries like Brazil and China, inbound tourism will create up to one million new jobs over the next decade. Additionally it will increase tax revenues at all levels of government since inbound tourism generates more than $134 billion in revenue each year.
How will this happen? The first steps will include increasing the ability of embassies to process more applications in a shorter time frame. This will require additional investments in infrastructure as well as hiring more staff. Also Taiwan will be added to the list of countries in the Visa Waiver Program. Additional steps will also then be taken to make it less burdensome for applicants by eliminating many of the bureaucratic hurdles that currently slow the process down.
There are several additional articles that discuss this action and the impact it will have on both the travel industry and the US economy, but here are two I found informative via Airwise.com and DailyBreeze.com.