The travel and hospitality industry is in the news today:
U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 4450, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014, which re-authorizes Brand USA:
"The travel community heartily congratulates House leaders of both parties for embracing a policy that pays clear dividends for the U.S. economy: extending Brand USA and the outstanding work it does to attract international travelers and their dollars to American shores.
"The job-creating effects of travel activity, and the back-end return on travel-promotion efforts, are both absolutely beyond questioning. It's hard to believe that in the hyper-competitive global travel market, the U.S. was without any agency performing these functions at a national level before Brand USA came into being three years ago. It's why we were losing market share to destinations in Asia and Europe, where tourism promotion is usually a cabinet-level public ministry.
"By moving to keep Brand USA in business, the House has paved the way for us to build on our record 70 million inbound international visitors last year, each of whom spent $4,500 on average per trip -- dollars that support jobs that cannot be exported.
"Our special thanks go out to Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Peter Welch for championing this effort from beginning to end, as well as Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Henry Waxman, and Chairman Lee Terry and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee for orchestrating unanimous votes at the markup stages."
Hear what Jack Ferguson, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, says about Brand USA:
Revenue per available room jumped by 7.2 percent year-over-year in June for the U.S. hotel industry, with 10 of the top 25 markets reporting gains in the double digits. Leading the pack was Nashville, Tenn., with 18.9 percent growth; followed by Atlanta (up 14.4 percent) and Detroit (up 13.6 percent). Performance was good overall, with the industry seeing a 2.9 percent year-over-year jump in occupancy and a 4.3 percent climb in average daily rate. Double-digit daily-rate increases occurred in Nashville (up 14.9 percent to $125.93); San Francisco/San Mateo, Calif. (up 12.9 percent to $213.54); and Seattle (up 11.5 percent to $150.14). Philadelphia and Chicago were the only top 25 markets to experience decreases in average daily rate and RevPAR.