Read through super-fast items of interest curated from this week’s industry news.
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ADVERTISING — $623 million: That’s the amount travel brands invested in advertising from January through April, a 43% increase over the year-earlier period, according to advertising intelligence platform MediaRadar. — Source: Ad Age
APPLE — At last week’s WWDC 2022, the annual developers conference, Apple unveiled a host of new features for iOS 16 and MacOS Ventura, the next operating system for Mac computers. There’s an edit text message function, lock screen widgets for fonts and colors, and the ability to plug an iPhone into a Mac for webcam use. Source: CNET. Read about the upgrades here.
“THE BRITISH ARE COMING” — Immediately following news of the CDC lifting the COVID-19 testing requirement, MMGY Travel Intelligence fielded a study including U.K. travelers to determine whether this would impact intention to travel. Source: MMGY NJF
- 52% of British respondents said they are more likely to book a trip to the U.S. in the next six months because the COVID-19 testing requirement has been removed.
- 37% said the news affects the likelihood of them booking a trip to the U.S.
- Only 11% said the end of the testing requirement would make them less likely to book a trip to the U.S.
CHOICE HOTELS > RADISSON — Choice Hotels International is buying Radisson Hotel Group Americas for $675 million to get a foot in the door of a more upscale market in North, Central, and South America. For Choice, this will add 624 hotels with 68,000 total rooms and a strong presence on the West Coast. Choice Hotels International is one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, currently with nearly 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 600,000 rooms, in 35 countries and territories. Source: Choice Hotels press release.
DOLLYWOOD — Big news out of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Tripadvisor shows Dollywood as the #1 theme park in the U.S. and #8 in the world for the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards.
1. Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)
2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando)
3. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park (Orlando)
4. Universal Studios Hollywood (Los Angeles)
5. Universal Studios Florida (Orlando)
6. Silver Dollar City (Branson, MO)
7. Funland (Rehoboth Beach, DL)
8. Fun Spot America (Kissimmee, FL)
9. Santa’s Village (Jefferson, NH)
10. Busch Gardens Tampa (Tampa)
U.S. parks hold two of the 10 spots on the worldwide theme park list. Full listings here.
1. Siam Park (Spain)
2. Puy du Fou (France)
3. Beto Carrero World (Brazil)
4. Puy du Fou España (Spain)
5. The Milky Way Adventure Park (UK)
6. Hot Park (Brazil)
7. Waterbom Bali (Indonesia)
8. Dollywood (USA)
9. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (USA)
10. Parque Terra Magica Florybal (Brazil)
DUTY FREE SHOPPING — New stores featuring local brands at San Francisco Airport are augmented by digital experiences, such as interactive digital wine tables allowing customers to place a bottle on the table and learn about the brand and vintage via an on-screen display. DFS has also partnered with Inflyter, the duty-free shopping app, enabling travelers to browse and buy duty free as soon as a flight booking has been made, alleviating the need to wait until the airport. Source: DFS Group
LONG ISLAND, NY — Discover Long Island has selected its first-ever agency of record, Paradise Advertising & Marketing, Inc., a 20-year-old agency based in St. Petersburg, Florida.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK — NYC & Company says the city is on track for full recovery, recapturing more than 80% of its record 2019 visitors by year-end. Some 12,000 new hotel rooms will come online over the next three years, plus more than 20 new Broadway shows, major upgrades at the region’s three major airports, and arts and culture additions including the brand new Museum of Broadway, The Louis Armstrong Center, and the American Museum of Natural History’s Gilder Center opening this year.
VISIT LAUDERDALE — A new microsite, visitlauderdale.com/accessibility, focuses on accessibility at hotels, restaurants, attractions, even wheelchair-friendly beaches and equipment that can be rented and delivered to staterooms in cruise ships.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — The closures—first in three decades—come as heavy rainfall prompted flooding and rockslides affecting all five park entrances. The closures come as Yellowstone was gearing up to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Local communities that are heavily dependent on tourism were counting on a rebound this summer. Yellowstone extends into Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Source: Reuters. Read more here.