News and Deals: October 8, 2012 – Significant growth across Mexico’s tourism industry, Hotels expected to boost spending on new and upgraded amenities, Many foreign airlines let you use cellphones and JetBlue will help you leave the U.S. if your candidate loses the election

Chichen Itza

Significant growth across Mexico’s tourism industry

Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara released the Sixth Government Report on Tourism. The Report chronicles a period of strong growth in tourism arrivals – both domestic and international – in addition to public and private sector investment in tourism over the past six years. Tourism, which constitutes more than nine percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product, is a national priority.

The report details five key priorities, domestic tourism growth; international tourism growth; public tourism investment; private tourism investment and market diversification.

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Hotels expected to boost spending on new and upgraded amenities
Los Angeles Times

All of those shiny new amenities you’ve seen at your hotel lately — fitness equipment, flat-screen TVs and redesigned lobbies — are part of a trend across the country.

Hotels are expected to spend $5 billion on improvements in 2012, a 33% increase over 2011, said Bjorn Hanson, a dean at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.

The spending still falls below the high mark of 2008, when the hotel business was booming and the industry spent $5.5 billion.

What are hotels spending all that money on? The added amenities include redesigned rooms, new bedding and beds, high-speed Internet access, flat-screen TVs, renovated restaurants and upgraded exercise rooms, Hanson said. Most of the spending has gone to renovate lobbies.

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Many foreign airlines let you use cellphones

Since May, passengers on some Virgin Atlantic flights from London to New York have turned on their cellphones in the air, typed out text messages or made calls — without getting in trouble for it.

They’re doing what hundreds of thousands of passengers on foreign airlines in parts of Europe and the Middle East have been doing for at least four years: using cellphones once planes have climbed past 10,000 feet. The airlines offer the service to benefit their customers with the blessing of their governments.

But when Virgin Atlantic passengers get within 250 miles of the U.S. coast, the talking and texting stops. The practice is forbidden in the United States because of government safety concerns about cellphone signals interfering with communication networks on the ground and possibly interfering with the plane’s communications and navigation equipment.

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JetBlue will help you leave the U.S. if your candidate loses the election

If 2012 finds you again promising to emigrate if [insert candidate here] wins the presidential election, JetBlue is making an offer to put its money where your mouth is.

In a contest dubbed “election protection,” JetBlue Airways Corp. (Nasdaq: JBLU) has announced a kind of travel insurance sweepstakes for those who enter and pick their choice for president in advance. The airline — which had more than 50,000 passengers at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in August — will hand out 1,006 tickets to disappointed political junkies whose candidate fails in November. (That’s 2012 seats.)

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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