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November 19, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • First Hilton, Hampton Inn hotels in France to open in 2015
    A dual-branded hotel under the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton brands is scheduled to open near Disneyland Paris. The 96-room Hampton by Hilton Val d'Europe and the 154-room Hilton Garden Inn Val d'Europe are scheduled to open by 2015 as part of the Val d'Europe business park. Travel Weekly (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Travel summit notes rise in demand for exotic destinations
    Travel agents and tour operators who attended Ensemble Travel Group's recent Las Vegas conference report that travelers are increasingly being drawn to exotic and off-the-beaten-track destinations. "The hot destinations are Ecuador, the Galapagos, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, African safaris. People are going for big-ticket items. It's like they want to spend money now because they don't know how things will be later on," said Judy Ruffini, a regional sales manager at General Tours. (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Holiday travel spending will rise 12% this year
    An annual survey by Allianz Global Assistance USA indicates that holiday travel spending this year will reach $72.9 billion -- up about 12% over 2011. Forty-five percent of respondents said they are "very confident" that they will take a holiday vacation this year, compared with 42% in the previous year. TravelPulse (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Business travel could benefit from U.S. "fiscal cliff," group says
    The impending "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and reduced federal spending could benefit business travel over the long term, the Global Business Travel Association says in a report. "The elimination of tax cuts and reductions in federal spending would lead to reduced deficits and lower interest rates over the long run, resulting in business travel spending and an overall economy that grows more quickly after absorbing the shock of the fiscal cliff," the GBTA said. However, the U.S. economy stands to lose $20 billion in business-travel spending over nine quarters if the economy goes over the so-called cliff, the group says. Travel Weekly (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Take your pick of high-tech hotels
    Hotels are embracing technology and offering more technology-based amenities for guests. The Andaz Wall Street and the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York and The Upper House in Hong Kong use wireless devices in the lobby, and the Ecclestone Square Hotel in London loans guests iPods. Hotel Management online (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • TSA responds to claims of unencrypted barcodes
    According to Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole, whistle-blowing about unencrypted barcodes on PreCheck boarding passes was exaggerated. He noted that people on the no-fly list cannot print out a boarding pass at all, and those allowed to fly must print out a boarding pass at the airport. The TSA is working with technology companies to possibly encrypt the barcode. Homeland Security Today (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Tips on measuring returns from social-media efforts
    With the right tools and focus, travel agents can determine the return on investment on social-media marketing strategies, consultant Sophie Bujold writes. Think of "using social channels as a magnet for attracting customer attention and directing them towards your sales channels -- like your website, newsletter and other inquiry generators. Once you start thinking beyond the sale, it's much easier to track how social media is helping your agency," Bujold writes. (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Best practices for building measurable social media
    Standard Life and Lloyd’s of London offer examples of best practices social media strategy, David Moth writes. Appointing the right people to the job and closely examining the field, seeking stakeholder buy-in, understanding the unique psychology of the market, and creatively repurposing content are some of the ways the companies excel and use key-performance indicators to measure their success. (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What it takes to grow your small business
    It can be difficult to grow a small business into middle-market business and not every company owner wants to make the transition, Josh Patrick of Stage 2 Planning Partners writes. "Making the move to a middle-market business will make your life more complicated and your business more complex," he notes. Growing your business will require gaining access to capital and developing systems that will allow you to expand your operations, he notes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're The Boss blog (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
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