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Archive for the ‘hospitality and tourism’ Category

AARP Online Travel Study

April 15, 2014 Comments off

AARP Online Travel Study
Source: AARP Research

Those who are 50 or older take about six non-business related overnight trips of at least 50 miles from home per year.

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Restaurant Owners’ Perspectives on a Voluntary Program to Recognize Restaurants for Offering Reduced-Size Portions, Los Angeles County, 2012

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Restaurant Owners’ Perspectives on a Voluntary Program to Recognize Restaurants for Offering Reduced-Size Portions, Los Angeles County, 2012
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Reducing the portion size of food and beverages served at restaurants has emerged as a strategy for addressing the obesity epidemic; however, barriers and facilitators to achieving this goal are not well characterized.

Methods
In fall 2012, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health conducted semistructured interviews with restaurant owners to better understand contextual factors that may impede or facilitate participation in a voluntary program to recognize restaurants for offering reduced-size portions.

Results
Interviews were completed with 18 restaurant owners (representing nearly 350 restaurants). Analyses of qualitative data revealed 6 themes related to portion size: 1) perceived customer demand is central to menu planning; 2) multiple portion sizes are already being offered for at least some food items; 3) numerous logistical barriers exist for offering reduced-size portions; 4) restaurant owners have concerns about potential revenue losses from offering reduced-size portions; 5) healthful eating is the responsibility of the customer; and 6) a few owners want to be socially responsible industry leaders.

Conclusion
A program to recognize restaurants for offering reduced-size portions may be a feasible approach in Los Angeles County. These findings may have applications for jurisdictions interested in engaging restaurants as partners in reducing the obesity epidemic.

Stress-free holidays for 120 million consumers – European Parliament backs new rules on package travel

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Stress-free holidays for 120 million consumers – European Parliament backs new rules on package travel
Source: European Parliament

The European Parliament backed today (610 votes for, 58 against and 13 abstentions) the European Commission’s proposal modernising EU rules on package holidays (IP/13/663). Existing EU rules on package travel holidays date back to 1990. Under the new rules, the Package Travel Directive will enter the digital age and better protect 120 million consumers who buy customised travel arrangements – especially online – and are not covered under today’s EU rules. The reform will bolster protection for consumers by increasing transparency about the kind of travel product they are buying and by strengthening their rights in case something goes wrong. Businesses will also benefit as the new Directive will scrap outdated information requirements such as the need to reprint brochures and will make sure that national insolvency protection schemes are recognised across borders.

Female Executives in Hospitality: Reflections on Career Journeys and Reaching the Top

March 21, 2014 Comments off

Female Executives in Hospitality: Reflections on Career Journeys and Reaching the Top
Source: Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell School of Hotel Administration

Structured interviews with twenty women who are top corporate executives or entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry revealed the talent, resourcefulness, and support required to achieve such a position. During the interviews, these successful women cited these three keys to career advancement: (1) the importance of taking thoughtful risks, including non-linear assignments; (2) the criticality of networking; and (3) the significance of finding a sponsor. Two notable challenges for these executives were the possibility that they would be regarded as a token and the need to integrate their work and family life. They noted that keys to meeting work and family responsibilities were having flexibility and autonomy in their schedules and engaging a strong support network, which usually included a life partner. Eight of the twenty had stepped away from corporate roles to run their own businesses. These entrepreneurs acknowledged the considerable work responsibilities resulting from their choice; however, gaining control of their careers made the effort worthwhile and the experience meaningful.

Free registration required to access full report.

2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects: Economic Contributions to Local Communities, States, and the Nation

March 18, 2014 Comments off

2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects: Economic Contributions to Local Communities, States, and the Nation (PDF)
Source: National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. This economic effects analysis measures how NPS visitor spending cycles through local economies, generating business sales and supporting jobs and income.

In 2012, the National Park System received over 282 million recreation visits. NPS visitors spent $14.7 billion in local gateway regions (defined as communities within 60 miles of a park). The contribution of this spending to the national economy was 243 thousand jobs, $9.3 billion in labor income, $15.8 billion in value added, and $26.8 billion in output. The lodging sector saw the highest direct contributions with more than 40 thousand jobs and $4.5 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally. The sector with the next greatest direct contributions was restaurants and bars, with 51 thousand jobs and $3 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally.

This 2012 analysis marks a major revision to the NPS visitor spending effects analyses, with the development of a new visitor spending effects model (VSE model) that replaces the former Money Generation Model (MGM2). Many of the hallmarks and processes of the MGM2 model are preserved in the new VSE model, but the new model makes significant strides in improving the accuracy and transparency of the analysis. Because of this change from the MGM2 model to the VSE model, estimates from this year’s analysis are not directly comparable to previous analyses.

Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com

February 26, 2014 Comments off

Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Online marketplaces often contain information not only about products, but also about the people selling the products. In an effort to facilitate trust, many platforms encourage sellers to provide personal profiles and even to post pictures of themselves. However, these features may also facilitate discrimination based on sellers’ race, gender, age, or other aspects of appearance. In this paper, we test for racial discrimination against landlords in the online rental marketplace Airbnb.com. Using a new data set combining pictures of all New York City landlords on Airbnb with their rental prices and information about quality of the rentals, we show that non-black hosts charge approximately 12% more than black hosts for the equivalent rental. These effects are robust when controlling for all information visible in the Airbnb marketplace. These findings highlight the prevalence of discrimination in online marketplaces, suggesting an important unintended consequence of a seemingly routine mechanism for building trust.

The Economic Gains from Eliminating U.S. Travel Visas

February 24, 2014 Comments off

The Economic Gains from Eliminating U.S. Travel Visas
Source: Cato Institute

The U.S. government requires most foreigners to obtain a travel visa if they wish to travel to America. The purported rationale for this requirement is to prevent unauthorized immigrants, terrorists, and other foreign-originated security threats from coming into the country disguised as tourists. The visa requirements also impose a substantial cost on the American economy by severely inhibiting tourism to the United States. Many sectors of the American economy are heavily dependent on tourist spending. By making it unnecessarily costly and difficult for foreigners to visit the country, the United States is impeding economic growth that would occur under a more sensible visa policy.

Changes in Eating Patterns and Diet Quality Among Working-Age Adults, 2005-2010

February 10, 2014 Comments off

Changes in Eating Patterns and Diet Quality Among Working-Age Adults, 2005-2010
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

This study analyzes how improvements in dietary quality among working-age adults from 2005 to 2010 may be related to reduced consumption of food away from home.

From Menu to Mouth: Opportunities for Sodium Reduction in Restaurants

January 24, 2014 Comments off

From Menu to Mouth: Opportunities for Sodium Reduction in Restaurants
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Restaurant foods can be a substantial source of sodium in the American diet. According to the Institute of Medicine, the significant contribution made by restaurants and food service menu items to Americans’ sodium intake warrants targeted attention. Public health practitioners are uniquely poised to support sodium-reduction efforts in restaurants and help drive demand for lower-sodium products through communication and collaboration with restaurant and food service professionals and through incentives for restaurants. This article discusses the role of the public health practitioner in restaurant sodium reduction and highlights select strategies that have been taken by state and local jurisdictions to support this effort.

Revenue Increased in Most Service Sectors in 2012, Census Bureau Reports

December 19, 2013 Comments off

Revenue Increased in Most Service Sectors in 2012, Census Bureau Reports
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau today released its 2012 Service Annual Survey, which shows a revenue increase in 10 of the nation’s 11 service sectors for employer firms between 2011 and 2012. The utilities sector was the only sector to show a year-to-year decline in revenue, down by $22.7 billion to $533.4 billion for 2012.

The Service Annual Survey provides the most comprehensive national statistics available each year on service industry activity in the United States. In 2009, the survey was expanded to collect data for all service industries, which account for 55 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

UK — Crime against businesses: Detailed findings from the 20 12 Commercial Victimisation Survey

November 27, 2013 Comments off

Crime against businesses: Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey (PDF)
Source: Home Office

This is the second release of data from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS), wh ich further examines the extent of crime against businesses in England and Wales. The CVS was a recommendation from the National Statistician‟s review of crime statistics to address the significant gap in crime statistics that existed for crimes against businesses, not covered by either of the two main sources of da ta on crime: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and crimes recorded by the police. While police recorded crime does include crimes against businesses, it does not separate these out from other crimes (other than for offences such as shoplifting which, by its nature, is against businesses). The police recorded crime also only includes those crimes that are reported to, and recorded by, the police. The CSEW is a survey of crime against households and individuals living in those households and so does not cover crime against businesses at all. The CVS was previously run in 1994 and 2002, and is planned to be repeated in 2013 and 2014.

The 2012 CVS was a premises – based survey focused on four industry sectors: manufacturing, wholesale and retail , transportation and storage, and accommodation and food. The results of the survey should not be considered to be representative of crime against businesses as a whole, only of crime against these four sectors.

Cities with Rail-to-Airport Connection Boost Hotel Revenue

November 22, 2013 Comments off

Cities with Rail-to-Airport Connection Boost Hotel Revenue
Source: American Public Transportation Association/U.S. Travel Association

Several American cities have a secret weapon to attract business travelers and lucrative meetings and conventions – a rail line to the airport terminal. According to a study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the U.S. Travel Association, hotels in cities with direct rail access from downtown to airport terminals receive nearly 11 percent more revenue per room than hotels in cities without a rail airport connection.

The jointly released study, A New Partnership: Rail Transit and Convention Growth, shows that higher revenue per room translates to a potential $313 million in revenue per year for “rail cities” – cities which have direct rail access to airport terminals. In the post-recession period, rail cities commanded 16 percent higher revenue per room than hotels in non-rail cities.

According to the study, hotel properties located within ¼ mile of a rail station performed even better than those outside of that radius. These hotel properties averaged a nearly 50 percent higher (48.6 percent) daily room rate and a 12.5 percent higher occupancy rate.

Fast Food Facts 2013: Measuring Progress in the Nutritional Quality and Marketing of Fast Food to Children and Teens

November 7, 2013 Comments off

Fast Food Facts 2013: Measuring Progress in the Nutritional Quality and Marketing of Fast Food to Children and Teens
Source: Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity (via Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Fast Food FACTS 2013, issued by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, examines the nutritional quality of fast food, and how restaurants market their foods and beverages to children and teens. The report examines 18 of the top restaurant chains in the United states, and updates a similar report released in 2010.

Key Findings

  • A total of $4.6 billion was spent on all advertising by fast food restaurants in 2012. This was an 8 percent increase over 2009. McDonald’s spent 2.7 times as much to advertise its products as all fruit, vegetable, bottled water, and milk advertisers combined.
  • Less than 1 percent of all kids’ meal combinations met recommended nutrition standards.
  • On average, U.S. preschoolers viewed 2.8 fast food ads on TV every day in 2012; children aged 6-11 years viewed 3.2 ads per day; and teens viewed 4.8 ads per day.
  • Fast food restaurants continued to target black and Hispanic youth, populations at high risk for obesity and related diseases.

Tourism as a magnet for creativity: Insights for creative class attraction in a tourism-based region

November 5, 2013 Comments off

Tourism as a magnet for creativity: Insights for creative class attraction in a tourism-based region
Source: Martin Prosperity Institute

Talent is seen as the crucial factor for growth and economic capacity. This is a commonly accepted corollary of the ideas presented by Florida in ‘The Rise of Creative Class’. This article explores the possibilities of a Portuguese ‘sun and sand’ tourism destination, the Algarve, to gain economic dynamism by using tourism resources to catch the attention of the creative class. The analysis presents the creative performance of this region in the three Ts, talent, technology and tolerance. An evaluation of possibilities for tourism product differentiation is presented. The high levels of tolerance and the potential of new tourism products anchored in historic, monumental, ethnographic and natural resources enhances the potential to attract the creative class.

Super-Sizing Public Costs: How Low Wages at Top Fast-Food Chains Leave Taxpayers Footing the Bill

October 17, 2013 Comments off

Super-Sizing Public Costs: How Low Wages at Top Fast-Food Chains Leave Taxpayers Footing the Bill (PDF)
Source: National Employment Law Project
From press release (PDF):

The low-wage business model of the 10 largest fast-food chains in the U.S. costs taxpayers an estimated $3.8 billion per year, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project. Industry leader McDonald’s, which alone employs an estimated 707,850 restaurant workers in the U.S., costs taxpayers the most – an estimated $1.2 billion per year, or twice that of any other company.

According to the report, taxpayer costs are driven by the business model of low wages, no benefits, and limited hours at the 10 largest fast-food companies, forcing employees to rely on public assistance in order to afford food, healthcare, and other basic necessities. An estimated 2.2 million restaurant workers are employed at the 10 largest fast-food companies, which include McDonald’s, Yum! Brands (owner of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC), Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dairy Queen, Little Caesars, Sonic, and Domino’s.

Fast Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry

October 16, 2013 Comments off

Fast Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry
Source: Center for Labor Research and Education (UC Berkeley)

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of enrollments in America’s major public benefits programs are from working families. But many of them work in jobs that pay wages so low that their paychecks do not generate enough income to provide for life’s basic necessities. Low wages paid by employers in the fast-food industry create especially acute problems for the families of workers in this industry. Median pay for core front-line fast-food jobs is $8.69 an hour, with many jobs paying at or near the minimum wage. Benefits are also scarce for front-line fast-food workers; an estimated 87 percent do not receive health benefits through their employer. The combination of low wages and benefits, often coupled with part-time employment, means that many of the families of fast-food workers must rely on taxpayer-funded safety net programs to make ends meet.

This report estimates the public cost of low-wage jobs in the fast-food industry. Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the other public benefits programs discussed in this report provide a vital support system for millions of Americans working in the United States’ service industries, including fast food. We analyze public program utilization by working families and estimate total average annual public benefit expenditures on the families of front-line fast-food workers for the years 2007–2011.1 For this analysis we focus on jobs held by core, front-line fast-food workers, defined as nonmanagerial workers who work at least 11 hours per week for 27 or more weeks per year.

Eurostat regional yearbook 2013

October 11, 2013 Comments off

Eurostat regional yearbook 2013
Source: Eurostat

Statistical information is an important tool for understanding and quantifying the impact of political decisions in a specific territory or region. The Eurostat regional yearbook 2013 gives a detailed picture relating to a broad range of statistical topics across the regions of the Member States of the European Union (EU), as well as the regions of EFTA and candidate countries. Each chapter presents statistical information in maps, figures and tables, accompanied by a description of the main findings, data sources and policy context. These regional indicators are presented for the following 11 subjects: economy, population, health, education, the labour market, structural business statistics, tourism, the information society, agriculture, transport, and science, technology and innovation. In addition, four special focus chapters are included in this edition: these look at European cities, the definition of city and metro regions, income and living conditions according to the degree of urbanisation, and rural development.

The Statistical Atlas is an interactive map viewer, which contains statistical maps from the Eurostat regional yearbook and provides the possibility to download these maps as high-resolution PDFs.

The most recent version of the Eurostat regional yearbook is available in Statistics Explained, which also contains translations of all of the articles in German and French as well as three articles in the 18 official Community languages.

Emergency Preparedness for Disasters and Crises in the Hotel Industry

October 9, 2013 Comments off

Emergency Preparedness for Disasters and Crises in the Hotel Industry
Source: Sage Open

Safety and security are the most important issues to tourist while traveling and the first aspect they consider is to be protected from hazards. Emergency planning and preparedness for a crisis are the most significant components of dealing with disasters. Hospitality practitioners noticed a rising number of natural and man-made crises that harm the hospitality industry, regarding its vulnerability to crisis and internal and external hazards. By using secondary data, this study aims to shed some light on this issue, contributing to knowledge and awareness on emergency preparedness for the hospitality industry. Moreover, the study aims to explain the management’s commitment to adopt, develop, and update emergency plans. The results of this study explain that tourism as an international mobile industry must respond to internal and external hazards such as disease movement and terrorist attacks. Marketing safety is important to promote hotels and tourist destinations to the guests and holiday advisors. Hotels have a long history of being a soft target for terrorist attacks, as can be seen in several accidents that have shaken the hotel industry in the past few decades. Hotels invest a lot to install protective techniques, but terrorists are becoming more organized. Practitioners propose disaster management frameworks using several measurements. Recovery from crisis and learning help business retention that minimizes negative impacts and prevent losses. Finally, evaluation and feedback are very important to overcome the hazards and return to normal, as well as adopting new ideas to deal with emergencies. Single- and double-loop organizational learning should benefit proactive preparedness.

Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream

October 7, 2013 Comments off

Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream
Source: National League of Cities

From coast to coast and places in between, it is clear that food trucks have arrived and are here to stay. Mobile vending generates approximately $650 million in revenue annually, and is on pace to quadruple revenue over the next five years.

Unfortunately, most cities are legally ill-equipped to harness this expansion. Many city ordinances were written decades ago, with a different type of mobile food supplier in mind, like ice cream trucks, hot dog carts and sidewalk peddlers. Needless to say, food trucks are not your mother’s mobile vending experience. Mobile vending today is a substantial departure from the vending typically assumed in outdated local regulations.

A new report from the National League of Cities spotlights the impact of the rapidly changing mobile vending industry on cities. The report, Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream, offers best practices for city leaders to take advantage of the benefits of food trucks, while balancing the need to regulate growth and account for the concerns of other stakeholders, such as brick and mortar restaurants.

Lost in Translation: Cross-Country Differences in Hotel Guest Satisfaction

October 7, 2013 Comments off

Lost in Translation: Cross-Country Differences in Hotel Guest Satisfaction
Source: Center for Hospitality Research (Cornell School of Hotel Administration)

The reality of contemporary hotel operation is that hoteliers need to make comparisons across diverse countries regarding differences and similarities in guest satisfaction. Noting the absence of studies that explain how to compare survey responses from hotel guests in different countries, we sought to address this gap by examining four issues critical to hoteliers. Based on two years of data for nearly 200,000 guests from eight nations, our study found: (1) While price and location remain uppermost as decision factors, residents of some countries give considerable weight to specific services; (2) People in different countries do consider different factors in their determination of satisfaction; (3) The effect of certain procedures on guests’ satisfaction differs by country; and (4) Residents of some countries generally express lower levels of satisfaction than those in other countries. To ensure the reliability and consistency of our results, we evaluated results for two years individually (2010 and 2011) and then compared the findings between the two years. Even after controlling for brand and key predictors of satisfaction, we found that guests from the United States provided the highest ratings; guests from Japan provided the lowest ratings; and ratings by guests from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. typically fell between these extremes. The implications of our findings are that country differences must be accounted for when multinational brands are benchmarking or comparing satisfaction results across different market segments. We provide recommendations on how to account for differences in international satisfaction scores so that hoteliers can more effectively use their benchmarking results and can train staff members to respond appropriately to international travelers’ expressions of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Hoteliers should also be aware of these cultural differences when they host international travelers, who may have diverse satisfaction standards or who may be more (or less) likely to express pleasure than are guests from other countries.

(Free registration required to access report.)

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