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U.S. Travel Urges Congress to Improve CBP Entry Process

U.S. Travel Urges Congress to Improve CBP Entry Process

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Travel Association is urging Congress to act to reform the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) entry process. The organization released a report Wednesday detailing the severe economic consequences that result from often lengthy wait times experienced by millions of travelers and proposed 20 policy changes to address the problem. With international travel to the U.S. measuring record levels and forecast to increase in years ahead, including a national goal to welcome 100 million visitors by 2021, new resources are critical to improving the ability of CBP officers to process passengers more efficiently while meeting every security need. Failure to enact meaningful enhancements will do measurable harm to the U.S. economy as it continues its recovery, the report finds. U.S. Travel estimates the total cost to our economy of delaying and deterring visitors is $95 billion over the next five years—dollars that could support 518,000 American jobs. “The U.S. welcomed 67 million visitors last year, and far too many of these valued customers spent the first hours of their trip waiting in line at U.S. air ports of entry,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “International travel is a bright spot for the ...

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U.S. Hotels Expected to See a 6.1 Percent RevPAR Increase

U.S. Hotels Expected to See a 6.1 Percent RevPAR Increase

ATLANTA, Ga.—Despite news of “fiscal cliffs” and “sequesters” coming out of Washington D.C., the U.S. lodging industry is forecast to continue to achieve strong gains in both revenue and profits in 2013. According to the recently released March 2013 edition of Hotel Horizons, PKF Hospitality Research LLC (PKF-HR) is projecting that U.S. hotels will enjoy a 6.1 percent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the year, along with a 10.2 percent boost on the bottom-line net operating income. “The uncertainty and fear generated by Congress’ handling of the fiscal cliff and sequester may have tempered the pace of economic growth, but it has not completely shut down the growth in demand for lodging accommodations,” said R. Mark Woodworth, president of PKF-HR. “Our forecast of a 1.8 percent increase in demand for 2013 is somewhat muted compared to the 3.0 percent increase recorded by Smith Travel Research (STR) in 2012. However, when you combine the 1.8 percent growth in lodging demand with a projected increase in supply of just 0.8 percent, occupancy levels will rise to 62.0 percent. This will take the U.S. lodging industry past the long-run average occupancy level of 61.9 percent, a significant milestone.” Some of ...

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NextGen Prompts Positive Gains

When Red Roof launched its NextGen design for rebuilds and renovations last year, the company used extensive customer research and input from its franchise advisory board to develop a comprehensive plan that would appeal to today’s business and leisure traveler. Now that the NextGen design has been implemented into approximately 75 of the brand’s 345 properties throughout the United States, Red Roof is starting to see a bump in revenue and occupancy. Andy Alexander, president of Red Roof Inn, expects the positive trend to continue into the foreseeable future. “According to PKF and STR reports for the remainder of this year and next year, the economy lodging market is showing a RevPAR growth between 3.5 and 3.9 percent,” he says. “I anticipate that we’ll be significantly above those numbers with our renovated properties.” Despite a tough economy, Red Roof has seen revenue increase almost 6 percent year on year and occupancy is up almost 2 percent in the last year. Individual properties that have converted to the new model have seen a sales lift of up to 10.6 percent. The major components of the design plan focus on advanced technology, upgraded electronics, and home-inspired amenities. Guestrooms are designed with hardwood ...

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