Travel News & Views

Author: George Oberle

Airline Competition in a Free Market

Corporate Travel Agents

I think there may be hope after all my fellow Americans. Earlier this week the Department of Justice filed suit to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Predictably, the forces that stand to capitalize on the combined company have their marketing departments going full throttle to say how great it will be if the merger is approved. I’m not so sure. Read more

Amazing RV Camping Resorts!

Lake Osprey RV Country Club

We recently re-launched our RV Camping Resorts module and were amazed at the quality of some of the facilities. There is a new breed of resort emerging that caters to class-A luxury motor coaches in addition to some really fine traditional RV Camping Resorts. Read more

Las Vegas – Entertainment Capital of the World!


On a recent trip to Las Vegas I noticed that things are changing. While gambling is a draw for many, the entertainment options are exploding. NBC Travel published an article this week entitled Crowds return to Las Vegas, but gamble less the author noted that “The total revenue from gambling and entertainment other than gambling was $15.3 billion in 2012, $500 million less than was spent in 2007.” However, it must also be noted that the days of cheap food and drinks are also gone. Also the big shows with top name entertainers are back and tickets are not cheap. So part of the revenue lost from less gambling will be made up in more other spending. Here are some examples of current shows at Las Vegas Casinos: Read more

Observations on a Trip to Orlando

I traveled to Orlando last week on business. This was an interesting time to be in Orlando as the verdict was being handed down for the trial of George Zimmerman. The trial only 20 minutes away from where I was staying. The Orlando area was as expected totally immersed in the societal implications of the innocent verdict. I guess this led me to reflect on things during my trip that normally I would just ignore.

It was kind of a surreal moment when the verdict was announced. Everyone had an opinion. My take is that knuckleheads do stupid things. That’s why they’re knuckleheads…because they do stupid things. Some pay with their life and others pay for the rest of their lives. Read more

Travel Agents Must Work with Travel Writers or Parish!

Corporate Travel AgentsThe fate of Travel Agents is in their hands

If travel agent industry leaders continue to be satisfied with isolated part-timers then all hope is lost. Put a fork in travel agents.

However, if industry leaders encourage full-time dedicated professional travel agents to form strategic business alliances and partnerships with travel writers to act as online demand generators there is reason to be hopeful. In other words, either they decide as an industry to get the message out online about the value they provide or they will parish. Read more

Disney Cruise Line Tops in Satisfaction


The Disney Cruise Line scored tops in in a recent JD Power cruise passenger satisfaction survey.

This probably surprised a few people until you begin to think a bit about how the major lines have morphed into one big homogenized product. Read more

Hawaii Hotel Updates

Hawaii Hotel Updates

Fairmont Orchid Hawaii
Fairmont Orchid Hawaii Resort

Every month the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau announce statistics about new tourist arrivals that smash previous records. Hawaii is indeed the hottest vacation destination this year. Much of this increased demand from both the east and west comes can be attributed to the energy generated by the hotel properties. They have used the recent recession as an opportunity to update and renovate providing entirely new vacation experiences.  Here’s a sample of improvements the Hawaii Hotels are offering. Read more

5-Days of Things to Do in Waikiki

Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach

Hawaii as a vacation destination is on fire. According to a new Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors joint study, the aggregate revenue generated by Hawaiian hotels in the month of April was $276 million which is an incredible 9.4% higher than any previous month since 2006.
For years, Hawaii lamented various reasons the visitor arrival count shrunk. No island felt the recession’s impact more than Oahu and Waikiki. However, Waikiki is now most popular destination in the Pacific. They have new hotels, a whole new beach walk promenade area and that great Waikiki nightlife. When I visit Waikiki here is how I spend my week. Read more

Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship Returns to Service

The Carnival Triumph has completed the refurbishment and renovations after its famous engine room fire that left it dead in the water. The ship being towed by tug boats was reported and viewed around the world. This was clearly a black eye for Carnival Cruises. However, the ship has spent months in the shipyard and returns to its home port of Galveston, Texas to depart this today with a sold out cruise to the western Caribbean.

Carnival claims it has made substantial upgrades to the ships systems with the focus being on the power and propulsion areas.

The fun times will return as the Carnival Triumph now offers Guy’s Burger Joint for your cravings, The Blue Iguana Cantina and Tequila Bar for Margaritas and shots, The Red Frog Rum Bar for your Mojitos, The Alchemy Bar for your favorites and EA Sports Bar to quench your thirst while staying up to date with your teams.
The common areas such as pools, promenades and fitness centers have all been totally refurbished. Cruise cabins have all been stripped and outfitted with brand new soft goods.

Carnival has done a great job on the Triumph spending more than $115 million repairing and upgrading the ship. The first cruise is sold out. The real question is would you be comfortable book your cruise on this ship?

Bob Dickinson Returns to Save Carnival Cruise Corp.

Bob Dickinson Returns to Save Carnival Cruise

When I first entered the travel business in the late 70’s the modern cruise era was just beginning to take shape. During this time there were quite a few people involved, but two cruise executives stood head and shoulders among the rest with vision and a deep understanding of the business. These two innovators were Richard Revenes of Royal Cruise Line and Bob Dickinson of Carnival Cruise Line. Read more

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