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US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries has published its figures for 2005. Taking out Canada and Mexico, the UK comfortably retains its position as the number one generator of inbound traffic with 4.4m visitors, nearly half of the European total. Japan comes up next at 3.8m. In 2005 international visitation to the US increased 7% over 2004 to 49.9m visitors. This represents the second consecutive year the US travel and tourism industry has benefited from positive visitation growth, having increased 12% to 46.1m in 2004. In monetary terms this is valued at US$8.9m per month, a 12% increase. http://www.ita.doc.gov/media/PressReleases/0306/tourism_030806.html http://tinet.ita.doc.gov Mar 19, 2006

U.S. travel data plan would be costly. The U.S. may require airlines, travel agents, and cruise lines to collect and store information about travelers in case of a disease outbreak. The proposed new guidelines could be costly to the industry. Mar 14, 2006

European Commission launched a public consultation on RFID "as their power to report their location, identity and history raises serious concerns about personal privacy and security, as well as technical interoperability and international compatibility." It added that addressing some of the concerns "may well require legislative responses." The Commission said it also is stepping up exchanges with the US and Asia on RFID technologies in order to define globally accepted interoperability standards and practices with regard to data privacy and ethical principles when applying the technology. Mar 13, 2006

American Express

American Express's latest Business Travel Monitor shows the average international fare in the fourth quarter of 2005 increased by 7% year-on-year to $1,666 ([pounds sterling]955) one-way, with first class up 4% at $5,805, business class up 5% at $3,927 and discount economy up 9% at $1,113. However, in a trend that North American airlines will find disquieting (but not the business travelers), US domestic flights declined to $216 ([pounds sterling]124) one-way in 2005, its lowest for six years. An upturn is expected for 2006. The Monitor is based on prices paid by Amex's business travel clients for 329 domestic US city pairs and 160 international city pairs. Average booked rates for US hotels, meanwhile, grew by nearly 4% from $132 in 2004 to $137 ([pounds sterling]79) in 2005, marking a six-year high. International booked rates were up almost 8% at $212 ([pounds sterling]121), the highest since 2000. Finally, the Monitor found that the average daily cost per car rental rose by 1.5% to $66 ([pounds sterling]38) last year. http://www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel Mar 19, 2006

Business fares fell at end of 2005. Business travelers paid less for domestic airline tickets at the end of 2005, according to the American Express Business Travel Monitor report. Travelers can expect fares to increase in 2006 as demand strengthens, the report says. Mar 15, 2006

EgyptAir

EgyptAir signed an agreement with Amadeus to implement its Altea Customer Management Solution to handle inventory management, multichannel sales and reservations, e-ticket management and distribution and departure control. Mar 17, 2006

Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems to offer GDS alternative to Star. Lufthansa Systems will join G2 SwitchWorks and ITA Software as a preferred supplier to provide an Alternative Content Access Platform to Star Alliance airlines, Star and LHS announced yesterday.LHS is teaming with Farelogix on the project and will base its ACAP solution on "core GNE [GDS new entrant] technology" from the Miami-based company, Anselm Eggert, LHS senior VP-Business Division Passenger Airline Solutions, told journalists during a conference call. Mar 17, 2006

Orbitz

Orbitz updates alert system for delays after flight departure. Orbitz's care alert system will now notify a traveler's contacts if their flight experiences mid-air delays due to congestion, a diversion to another airport or for any other reason. Mar 15, 2006

Sabre Airline Solutions, Jet Airways

Sabre Airline Solutions said Jet Airways chose its AirFlite Schedule Manager and AirFlite Fleet Manager software. Sabre also was appointed technical adviser to Arabesk Group, a partnership of seven Middle East carriers (now including Tunisair) established earlier this month. Mar 14, 2006

SkyTeam

SkyTeam launched a German version of its website this week. It now offers its site content in nine languages. No SkyTeam member is based in Germany but the alliance does serve 12 destinations in the country. Mar 17, 2006
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Publication:Airguide Online
Date:Mar 20, 2006
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