July Travel News for Hotels and Amtrak

Hotels

Marriott Hotel Bed

Hoteliers Keep Adding Rooms
Despite an uncertain economic recovery, hoteliers are building new hotels, with roughly 432,000 new rooms coming online globally, according to a report from the MKG Group.

Breaking it down regionally, that's adds up to170, 000 new rooms in North America and 138,000 in Europe, an increase of 3.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Asia-Pacific is adding 98,000 rooms, a growth of only 1.9 percent. Other regions also show development resilience during the global economic challenge, with Latin America registering 63,600 new rooms (+4.8%), Middle East and Africa 52,700 (+4.2%). (Source: MKG press release).

Hotel Industry Leading Indicator Is Up for Fourth Month in a Row
The U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator, or HIL, went up 1.5 percent during May for the fourth consecutive month. The HIL usually leads the industry's business activity four to five months in advance. The latest increase brought the index to a reading of 113.5.

The index was set to equal 100 in 2000. Eight major indicators were up, including weekly hours in hotels, hotel profitability, future demand for international visitors, housing activity and the National Vacation Barometer. Only one major component was down-tightness in the labor market. (Source: HIL press release).

Rail and Car Rental

Amtrak Dining Car

Amtrak to Expand Free wifi
Amtrak's three-month trial of free wifi was so successful that Amtrak is making it standard on all Acela trains running between Washington, D.C., and Boston.

It's planning to offer Wi Fi on its fleet nationwide, once it gets funding. This will begin this fall on Amtrak Routes in California, with Northeast regional service. (Source: Amtrak press release).

Rebounding Business Travel

Demand for business travel is on the upswing, according to data from Business Travel, which tracks corporate travel spending.

  • Business travelers are beginning to return to the front of the plane
  • The percentage of business class tickets booked in business rose from 36 percent to 41 percent in Q1
  • International airfares increased 3 percent year over year
  • Domestic fares increased 6 percent
  • Hotel recovery is still lagging, with international rates down .5 percent and domestic hotel rates down 5 percent

Source: press release.