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 September Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings for 2015
As the economy continues to improve, hotels are finally luring back business travelers, including those who are participating in group meetings and conventions. According to The Global Business Travel Association, group travel spending has grown 5.3% to $117.1 billion in 2014, a figure that well exceeds previous expectations. Given that group business accounts for as much as 30-40% of total revenues for a hotel operation, this is welcome news indeed. Still, this is no time for complacency. Savvy hoteliers are incorporating new creative ideas into their operations in order to satisfy their clientele and to differentiate themselves for their competition, with the ultimate goal of making meetings easier, more comfortable and even more fun. The emphasis seems to be on making group meetings “less institutional” and “more residential”. One hotel chain has created meeting spaces that are more like lounges than standard conference rooms. Another offers its guests unusual food options like make-your-own trail mix stations and smoothie bars. Still another provides its guests with mobile apps that will let them make requests — from ordering coffee and food to changing the room temperature — without ever leaving the meeting room. Technological innovations are also of paramount concern as meeting planners are demanding that the latest innovations be available to attendees including universal wireless Internet access, videoconferencing capabilities, charging stations, and a secure protected environment in which to conduct proprietary business. Finally, some hotels are offering more breakout rooms in order to encourage smaller and more intimate interchanges among attendees after long group sessions throughout the day. The September Hotel Business Review will examine what some hotels are doing to facilitate this segment of their business and to meet the expectations of their guests.