Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Traveling This Summer...Here's Some Interesting News

Pricey Cities
This past weekend, I jetted off to Seattle for a long weekend with some of my closest friends. It was my first time visiting the Emerald City, and it was definitely a memorable experience. (I promise a long and detailed account of the whole trip in my next post). But one thing that did concern me a little before I left was a recent report I read from TripAdvisor, ranking the most expensive U.S. cities this summer, and guess which one made the top 10.

Yes, Seattle ranks No. 8 on the list of highest-priced U.S. cities, based on the combined costs for two for a one night stay and evening out. Adding up hotel, return taxi trip, and dinner and cocktails for two, the total cost comes to $415.04 in Seattle. (Note: I was there with seven women...you do the math.) Luckily, we stayed with my friend and her husband, so hotel expenses were not a concern, which is definitely a good thing considering Seattle saw a 26% jump in summer hotel prices between 2012 and 2013. But there's no way we skipped out on dinner and drinks around the city--that's part of the experience--and I knew we had some day-time activities planned, so I was prepared to shell out a few extra bucks.

At least Seattle isn't the most expensive. No, that honor goes to Honolulu, Hawaii. A night there will cost a whopping $504.94. But that's only 69 cents higher than the second highest-priced city, New York City ($504.25). Seattle is also still cheaper than Boston ($473.59), San Francisco ($471.89), Chicago ($448.45), Los Angeles ($447.61) and Washington, D.C. ($446.13).

More Leisure Travel
Leisure travel is on the rise, as Americans continue to feel more confident about the economy. TravelClick released a study indicating that totel bookings for leisure travelers in North America for the next 12 months are up 4.6%. While this is great news for the hospitality industry, it could mean higher prices and fewer available rooms for travelers. While summer is always a high travel season, the forecast could mean high tourist volumes well into fall and the early part of winter.

American to squeeze in more seats
In an attempt to cut costs and boost revenue, U.S. airlines have reduced flight capacity, dropping less popular routes and reducing the number of flights per day to other destinations. As a result, fares are much higher and planes are more packed than ever. As if things weren't bad enough, American has decided to make it even more cramped onboard with the addition of more seats.The airline said it plans to squeeze in more seats on its Boeing 737 and MD-80 planes, which accounts for more than 60% of the fleet. So while this may make more seats available, it also steals away precious leg room, which is particularly nice to have on long flights--or anytime for that matter.

Marriott Rebrands for Younger Generation
 Marriott Hotels launched a new campaign aimed at younger travelers. "Travel Brilliantly," as the campaign is called, seeks to show consumers that the hotel can cater to both business and leisure travelers. The effort includes a revamped logo and a heightened social media presence, as well as television, digital and mobile advertising. At travelbrilliantly.com, travelers can learn about new innovations and share their own ideas about how to improve the travel and hotel experience. The goal is for Marriott to redefine the future of travel, according to the company.

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