Is this glass one-quarter empty or three-quarters full?

Crowds

It's a figure that destinations dependent on air travel don't like to hear. One-quarter of Americans who flew at least twice last year now are more likely to opt for another mode of transportation, according to a national survey. They're not to the point of hitchhiking, we assume, but they’re not happy with air travel.

What irks them? Security, poor service, crowding and, yes, add-on fees.

Viewed another way, however, 72 percent say they're just as likely as ever to fly, more than half don't object to security procedures and 60 percent are satisfied with the price of their tickets.

Happy 50th birthday
to a very famous sidewalk

Hollywood walk of fame

When you're trying to build a tourism name for yourself, there's truth to the old saying, "Ya gotta dance with the one that brung ya."

That was the case for a Los Angeles neighborhood that needed to gin up some attention a half-century ago and started putting famous people's names on the sidewalk. Yes, the Hollywood Walk of Fame – now with 2,400 stars spread along 18 urban blocks – just turned 50.

One tourism expert says the Walk of Fame isn't that much of a draw by itself, but it helps the area create a critical mass that makes tourism Los Angeles County's biggest industry – to the tune of $14 billion a year. Check here to see who the newest honoree is.

If Hollywood can transform something as pedestrian as a sidewalk (pun intended) into a major attraction, what can your community do that builds on its strengths?

'All ashore who are going ashore!'

Almost a million people more than last year... that's the number of extra passengers the Cruise Lines International Association projects for 2010.

Here are the hard numbers:

  • Passengers in 2009: 13,445,000
  • Forecast for 2010: 14,300,000
  • Growth rate: 6.4 percent

So, where do all those sun- and fun-seeking passengers come from? The U.S. and Canada accounted for 76.5 percent of them, and the rest of the world claimed the remaining 23.5 percent in 2009. Southeastern cruise ports love that statistic, and they're working to make passengers come a day early or stay a day late.

As Groucho Marx asked,
'Who do you trust?'

Groucho Marx

Travelers use and trust professional travel Web sites more than online communities and social network sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, according to a national survey by D.K. Shifflet & Associates and reported in HotelInteractive.com.

Regardless of age, travelers said the most used and most dependable sources for leisure travel information are the Web sites of hotels, resorts, destinations, attractions and travel booking companies.

Travelers 18-35 trusted social media more than older travelers, and travelers 55 and older continue to hold travel agents and media such as newspapers and magazines in high regard.

February 2010

7 ways to tick off
a flight attendant

It's not just passengers who have problems in the air. Here's a flight attendant's checklist of behaviors that really get under the skin of the cabin crew. High on the list are parents who abandon their parental roles at 35,000 feet.

Let's hope Atlanta’s labor outlook is good omen for all

Experts and analysts predict Atlanta's hospitality industry will be one of the few bright spots in the city's employment outlook for 2010. Hospitality, Atlanta's second-largest employment category, accounts for more than $11.4 billion annually and provides jobs for 230,000 area residents.

"Based on what we are hearing, it's our sense that the worst is behind us," said Beth Herman, regional director of Manpower's Atlanta metro market, as she analyzed Manpower's 2010 employment outlook. The Atlanta Business Chronicle quoted Herman and others in a look-ahead story.

Cultural and heritage tourism report for sale

The industry's first segmentation study of the cultural and heritage traveler is available for purchase in PDF and hard copy. Cultural and heritage travelers generate $192 billion annually to the national economy, according to its authors. It was commissioned by the U.S. Cultural and Heritage Tourism Marketing Council in partnership with the Department of Commerce and with sponsors such as Heritage Travel Inc., California, Florida, Virginia, Chicago, Cleveland and Sarasota. Contact Laura@MandalaResearch.com for more information.

STS News

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