Business & Finance

Senate Confirms John Bryson for Commerce Secretary

October 24, 2011 - The U.S. Travel Association today applauded the U.S. Senate confirmation of John Bryson for commerce secretary. Bryson succeeds Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China, who had been a strong advocate for improved traveler facilitation as commerce secretary.

“Thanks to his extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, John Bryson knows firsthand the important role that the $1.8 trillion travel industry plays in stimulating our economy and employing 14.1 million Americans,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “We look forward to working with him on ways the travel industry can stimulate economic recovery, particularly through regaining America’s historic share of the overseas travel market, which would help meet the President’s stated goal of doubling U.S. exports.”

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.8 trillion in economic output and supports 14.1 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit www.ustravel.org.

Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer
Consider these astonishing numbers: 1.49 billion active monthly Facebook users. 1.1 billion active monthly YouTube users. 320 million active monthly Twitter users and nearly 400 million registered users on LinkedIn. 400 million active monthly Instagram users and 200 million active Google+ users. The power and reach of social media is an awesome force and it has transformed how hotels interact with their customers. In the past year, social media advertising spending increased 33.5% to nearly $24 billion dollars. Social networks are being utilized by hotels to reach more visitors, expand brand awareness, enhance brand reputation and to establish more direct and personal communication with their customers. Savvy hotel operators are adopting a comprehensive social media strategy, and there are several emerging trends to note. Video continues to be a powerful and influential element in social media marketing, with 70% of companies saying that it is their most effective marketing tool. Video generates a 62% higher engagement rate than photographs alone, and with new social sites like Meerkat and Periscope which offer live video streaming, those numbers will only increase. Sponsored content is another growing trend. Though advertorials have been around for decades, hotels are finding new ways to maximize the visibility of their content. Some are placing sponsored content on Facebook, or on influencer blogs. Another trend is the integration of a “Buy Now” button into social media websites. Customers will be able to make purchases without ever having to leave their favorite social sites. This development is a major convenience for customers and should also be an additional revenue source for hotels. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.