The U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries predicts international tourism spending will surpass US$152 billion for 2011, up from the record of US$141 billion in 2008, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Foreign visitors spent US$127 billion in the United States during the first 10 months of 2011. Meanwhile, the total spent by Americans traveling abroad reached US$91.9 billion in the first 10 months, an 8% increase over the same period in 2010, the agency reported. The result is a balance-of-trade surplus of US$35 billion for the United States
Four countries are expected to account for two-thirds of the projected growth in international visitation to the U.S. during the next five years. Approximately 31% of the growth will come from Canada, 13% from Mexico, 10% from China and 7% from Brazil, the agency said.
Weekly data on the three key performance metrics for the U.S. and Canada was released by HNN parent company STR today.
U.S.: During the week of 18-24 December, according to data from STR, occupancy rose 8.1% to 37.3%, average daily rate increased 2.7% to US$89.48 and revenue per available room finished the week with an increase of 11% to US$33.39.
Among the top 25 Markets, Houston reported the largest occupancy increase, up 16.9% to 36.6%; Denver and San Francisco/San Mateo both achieved the largest increases in ADR (10.2%); and San Francisco/San Mateo experienced the greatest increase in RevPAR (26.3% to US$59.30).
Canada: The Canadian hotel industry also reported positive results in the three key performance metrics for the week of 18-24 December, according to STR.
The Canadian hotel industry’s occupancy ended the week with an 11.7% increase to 31.4%, its ADR rose 3.4% to CAD$111.46 (US$109.64) and its RevPAR increased 15.6% to CAD$34.97 (US$34.41).
Among the provinces: Newfoundland and Nova Scotia achieved the largest increases in occupancy, up 20% in each province; Prince Edward Island posted the largest ADR increase (22% to CAD$65.59, or US$64.53); and British Columbia led in RevPAR increases (30.3% to CAD$43.37, or US$42.66).
InterContinental Hotels Group reported last week it will exceed US$130 million in revenue from mobile bookings in 2011.
The company also announced the expansion of booking solutions across the Android platform with a Priority Club Rewards app for Kindle Fire, Google TV and Android Tablets. It is the first hotel company to launch apps for both Kindle Fire and Google TV. IHG already has booking apps on Apple products including the iPhone and iPad.
"Extending our solutions to work with Kindle Fire, Google TV and Android Tablets is key to our next-generation personal technology strategy," said Michael Menis, VP of web and interactive marketing for IHG, in a statement. "As consumers embrace new devices like tablets and interactive television, we will continue to expand our reservation options and brand presence through these fast-growing, emerging touch points."
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Spending New Year’s Eve in New York City this year will be costly for last-minute travelers, according to NewYorkHotels.org.
A survey conducted by the organization uncovered rates as much as 700% higher than usual on New Year’s Eve.
Rooms in Manhattan will cost last-minute travelers the most. The 4-star Eurostars Wall Street, which typically goes for US$129 per night, will cost US$549 on New Year's Eve. That price elevation represents a 325% increase. Even more costly is the Excelsior Hotel. Situated one-half block from Central Park, this 3-star accommodation is increasing rates almost 570%, to US$1,332 versus the usual US$199.
But the highest price increase was found in Brooklyn. The Red Carpet Inn near the Brooklyn Bridge is charging $1,000 on New Year's Eve, which is 740% more than its usual rate of US$119.
Despite Tuesday’s news that U.S. employment claims rose last week, Reuters reports the underlying trend pointed to an improving labor market, while regional factory data showed the economy gaining momentum as the year ended.
The growth picture was brightened by other data on Thursday showing pending sales of previously owned homes jumped to a one-and-a-half year high in November, adding to signs of a tentative recovery in the housing market.
Indications the economy was wrapping up the year on much firmer footing than previously anticipated leaves it better positioned to deal with headwinds from the festering debt crisis in Europe and fiscal tightening at home.
"The data have maintained their stronger tone and that suggests the economy is on an upswing towards the end of 2011, but they are not pointing to robust growth in 2012," said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist and founding partner at RDQ Economics in New York.
Compiled by Stephanie Wharton.