Build travel business, Hotel Recovery

Hilton Garden Inn

Hotel Industry Appears to Start Recovery
If you’ve been enjoying low rates and easy availability at your favorite hotels, the market is beginning to tighten, but not by much. U.S. hotel occupancy and rates are starting to edge up. In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy was up 5.8% to 47.7%.

Average daily rates ended the month with a 2.8% increase to $96.64. Demand is strong and room rates are edging up slightly, with the higher end of the market outpacing moderately priced hotels, according to Smith Travel Research. The hotel research and consulting company expects this trend to continue over the next several months, (Source: STR press release).

Luxury Hotels Keep Their Customers Happiest
Value does not mean cheap when it comes to hotels. Even though economy guests say that price is the most important element in their choices, economy hotels received the lowest value scores (79.2) in the 2010 Market Metrix Hospitality Index released last month.

Luxury hotels received the top scores for delivering value (83.5). Hotel loyalty programs also played a bigger role for guests in choosing a hotel than in 2009. (Source: Market Metrix press release).

Car and Rail

Amtrak to Add More Free Wi-Fi to Trains This Year
Amtrak plans to expand its on-board free Wi-Fi this year. It plans to install AmtrakConnect on more trains in the Northeast Corridor and on more West Coast trains. It has also completed building a dedicated wireless network that improves connectivity and delivers a high-speed signal to trains traveling through New York City tunnels.

Amtrak also plans on upgrading its system to 4G to increase available bandwidth. Free Wi-Fi is already available on Acela Express trains between Washington, D.C. and Boston and on Amtrak Cascades trains. (Source: Amtrak press release).

How Travel Helps Build Your Business

Hitting the road is good for your company’s bottom line, according to an Global Business Travel Association study. The study found that companies overlook how travel can give them a competitive edge. Among its findings:

  • Every dollar strategically spent on business travel delivers $20 in additional gross profit.
  • To get that return requires spending an average of 4 percent more on travel—or about $70 per employee.
  • Industries that could benefit from more business travel spending: banking, finance, retail, and pharmaceuticals.

Source: Global Business Travel press release.