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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Las Vegas reporting uptick in Reservations (and rates)

September 14th, 2010

Las Vegas Strip

It is unlikely that any city in the US was hit as hard by the recession as Las Vegas. They experienced twin crashes in housing and tourism while still not being completely recovered from the downturn of the early 2000s. While housing may yet take a while to recover, signs of a recovery in the tourism industry are growing.

Numbers just released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority say the city attracted 3,330,658 visitors in July, an increase of 4.7 percent from the same month a year ago.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, that is the largest single-month percentage growth in visitors to Las Vegas in almost five years.

Much of the growth can be attributed to great deals, an increase in convention business, and visits from those within driving distance to Levas. Airline passenger counts have yet to see much improvement.

“We’re encouraged and happy to see the continued increases in visitation,” says Kevin Bagger, senior director of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “But we still know that people are cautious in their spending habits.”

Room rates for July were up 4.8 percent to an average of $91. Additionally, even though there are some 7,000 more hotel rooms than a year ago, citywide occupancy remained at 84 percent, essentially unchanged from a year ago.

Alas, not all the news is good. The Plaza Hotel downtown recently closed. However, they say they’re doing renovations and plan to re-open the property in the future.

Find Las Vegas deals so amazing, we can’t tell you the hotel name until after you book!

JFrost Destinations , , , , , ,

LastMinuteTravel.com Travel Temptations Sweepstakes Kickoff

September 7th, 2010

SeaWorld Orlando's Manta Roller Coaster

Last Minute Travel is giving away free hotel nights at popular locations across the country. To qualify, just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights. We’ll have a new RT promo about every two weeks, so be sure to check back for new hotel packages and additional chances to win.

Our first week will give away a 2 night stay at the Hilton Orlando located in Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort. We choose Orlando because it has so much to offer both families and business travelers. Beyond the must-see theme parks, there are dozens of roadside attractions, air tours, and dining opportunities. At Last Minute Travel we have the deals on Orlando transportation and activities that you won’t find anywhere else like our Orlando Superpass.

Learn more about Orlando at our destination guide for the city.

For complete “Travel Temptations” official sweepstakes rules click here.

JFrost Promotions , , , , , , , ,

This Week In Travel

August 10th, 2010

NomadicMatt has penned a great column on Huffington Post about Why We Travel.

MSNBC has a list of America’s strangest Roadside Attractions. How many have you visited?

The NY Times visits the revived Brixton Market in London.

The LA Times suggests some alternate beach destinations for those tired of the sands of Southern California.

JFrost News , ,

This week in Travel

July 26th, 2010

The LA Times covers the “Swimming of the Ponies“, which is not a Virginia take on the running of the bulls; the best ice cream treats in Las Vegas; and New York’s club and bar scene is going up, way up, to the roof.

The NY Times visits the picturesque Paris waterside from hotel barges to floating bars; staying with the water theme, they travel on a houseboat near Sacremento, CA; and why Spongebob Squarepants may be greeting you at your next destination.

The Traveling Mom has a hard hat tour of the next major themed hotel from Disney… it’s in Hawaii.

Finally, WalletPop has six mistakes to avoid when on travel booking websites. This story includes quotes from Last Minute Travel’s own Lauren Volcheff. Go Lauren!

JFrost News , , , ,

Four Quick Tips for Traveling light

July 14th, 2010

If you like to be able to walk out the door in five minutes and be on vacation or minimalism is your style here are four quick tips for vacationing with the absolute minimum of stuff.

1. Leave the toiletries at home. Stay at a nicer hotel and then rely on the hotel’s comfort pack and amenities to fill the gap. Only care items you specifically need.

2. Limit yourself to two changes of clothes. Wear one set of clothes on the plane and pack the other. Make sure you can mix and match, so something that is casual can be dressed up with a jacket or accessories. A nice wrap or sarong works wonders for women and men can now purchase slacks that discreetly transform into shorts.

3. Buy what you need when you get there. If the bag is full ask yourself, do you really need to travel with this item or can you purchase it when you get there. This saves on weight too. All those gels and liquids carry a lot of water weight.

4. Plan ahead. Luggage tends to inflate with extras when you don’t know what to expect. So plan ahead, do some research on your destination, and eliminate the clothes and accessories you won’t need when you get there.

Now, all you really need is a shopping bag or briefcase and you’re ready to go.

JFrost Tips , , , ,

9 More Amazing Creative Hotels - Which is your Favorite

July 7th, 2010

The previous batch of Creative hotels was so popular, here are nine more to dream about.

1 - Dutch House Hotel

I’ll start with my favorite of the new batch. It was designed by the WAM architects to look like a bunch of stacked up Dutch houses. Perhaps something close to LEGO blocks too.

Dutch House Hotel

Inntel Hotel Amsterdam-Zaandam - Zaandam, Netherlands

(Flickr User: bartvandamme - )

2 - Ice Hotel

Ice Hotel

Lapland, Norway

(Flickr User: ezioman - )

3 - Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Holbrook, Arizona

(Flickr User: caveman_92223 - )

4 - Teepee Hotel

TeePee Hotel

(I grew up going here about once a summer. Never got to stay in the Teepee’s however.)

Kah-Nee-Ta, Oregon

(Flickr User: Lyza - )

5 - Cave Hotel

Cave Hotel

Urgup, Turkey

(Flickr User: devittj - )

6 - Luke Skywalker’s Home

Star Wars set Hotel

Hotel Sidi Driss (actual set used in Star Wars films), Matmata, Tunisia

(Flickr User: stml - )

7 - Scottish Castle

Scottish Castle Hotel

Mansfield Castle Hotel

(Flickr User: conner395 - )

8 - Hotel made out of salt

Salt Hotel

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

(Flickr User: wili - )

9 - Hotel built over a lake

Hotel over Lake

Lake of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

(Flickr User: tambako - )

If these hotels have you excited, check out our ‘Star Bar‘ of affordable luxury resorts.

JFrost Asides, Hotels , , , , , , , ,

DOT proposes higher compensation for bumped passengers

June 3rd, 2010

The Department of Transportation is thoroughly making over the rules airlines must comply with when it comes to safety and passenger comfort. They’ve already limited the amount of time an airplane can spend in the tarmac before penalties start to accrue, now they’re focusing on undisclosed fees and overbooking that leads to involuntary bumping of passengers.

Currently, airlines must compensate passengers for involuntary bumping. You’ll receive at least $400 if the airline can arrange substitute transportation that will get you to your destination within one to two hours of your original scheduled arrival for domestic flights, or one to four hours for international flights. That rises to $800 if they miss that deadline.

The new regulations would up the penalties to $650 and $1300 respectively and then ties those amounts to inflation. “This administration believes consumers are entitled to strong and effective protections when they fly,” stated Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

In theory this will provide an incentive for airlines to reduce the practice of overbooking and to schedule their flights to allow more time for possible delays.

Other rules and regulations suggested by the DOT include:

  • Smaller airports and international air carriers would be required to adopt contingency plans for long tarmac delays.
  • Airlines must provide passengers more information on delays, this includes international airlines.
  • Establish of minimum standards for carriers’ customer service plans and extend the customer service plan requirements to cover foreign carriers.
  • Carriers will be required to list taxes and fees in advertising and prevents “opt-out” add-ons (an oxymoron if there ever was one) such as trip insurance.
  • Airlines will now have to reveal extra fees like baggage and seat reservation fees where they publish their airfares.
  • One of my favorites, allow passengers a 24-hour grace period during which they can change their mind about an airline ticket purchase.
  • Post-purchase price increases would be prohibited.
  • Communication with passengers regarding flight status changes, such as cancellations and delays, would have to be more frequent and displayed at the boarding gate area, on website, and on telephone help lines.

What do you think? Will these proposed changes actually have an affect on your travel comfort?

JFrost Travel , , , , , , ,

Increased Travel expected Memorial Day Weekend

May 25th, 2010

Travel this Memorial Day Weekend is expected to be the highest in three years. Growth of more than 5% is forecast by AAA thanks to the improved economy.

“While the economy continues to be rocked by waves of occasional uncertainty, improved economic performance from one year ago should cause more Americans to take vacations this Memorial Day holiday weekend,” said Glen MacDonell, director of AAA Travel Services.

This combined with low fuel prices at the pump will likely entice many more families to hit the road. What are your plans?

JFrost Travel , , ,

Calling all travel-loving trivia masters: here are this week’s new Play to Play destination clues!

May 21st, 2010

It’s that time again! We’re announcing the next Play to Play city (check out the original blog post for more information). Hopefully you figured out last week’s anagrams to save big on activities in New York City. If not, don’t worry. Your next chance at savings is just one paragraph away!

How about some travel trivia? Read the trivia clues below to figure out this week’s featured city. And, if you’re up for a real tough challenge, skip the Google search bar and just use the ol’ noggin. Consider this as training for your next game of Trivial Pursuit… except here the winners get more than just esteem, they earn travel savings!

  • This city’s stadium leads the nation in Major League Baseball hot dog sales. A staple of the stadium since 1962, more than 1.6 million dogs slide across concession counters each year.
  • This city is a fine arts Mecca, boasting more than 80 stage theaters and 300 museums.
  • Dozens of musicians have sung songs about this city and its neighborhoods, including Weezer, Lawrence Welk, LL Cool J, Madonna, Celine Dion, Barry White and Billy Joel.
  • This city’s seaport is the busiest in the U.S. and one of the busiest in the world.
  • By the early 1900s, population growth exceeded the capacity of this thirsty city’s only water source, prompting the creation of an elaborate system of aqueducts.

Figure it out? When you do, just head over to our Travel Guides page, click on this week’s city, and pack your bags!

JFrost Promotions , , , , ,

Behind the Magic - By The Numbers

May 18th, 2010

Wondering who the people are behind LastMinuteTravel.com? We are a swiftly growing division of Travel Holdings, Inc.

Travel Holdings - By The Numbers.

  • 16 years in operation
  • 32 locations serving 97 source countries across 6 continents
  • 400 employees providing support in 23 languages
  • $40 million invested in proprietary technology since 2002
  • 17,000 direct hotel contracts
  • $2.5 million in sales per day
  • 3.5 million passengers/year resulting in 1.19 million bookings including 3.99 million room nights and other services such as flights, cars, cruise, activities and transfers
  • 36% growth in sales year to date 2010 and 480% growth in the last 5 years*
  • Positive EBITDA of 5.4% and growing

With numbers like this Travel Holdings, and LastMinuteTravel.com, are poised to provide you excellent travel options for years to come. There is a lot more to come.

*All numbers are from 2009, except this fact from May 2010

JFrost Travel , , , ,