Avis to enable voice reservations on Amazon Alexa
Avis next month will become the first car rental company to allow customers to make voice reservations through Amazon’s Alexa.
In addition to making voice-activated reservations, Avis customers will be able to use Alexa to request receipts and review past reservations. Avis Preferred loyalty members’ stored preferences for insurance coverage, GPS and satellite radio will also be accessible via Alexa.
Machu Picchu Instituting New Tourist Rules
Peru’s Machu Picchu is an iconic tourist attraction that draws visitors from around the world, but officials have instituted a new set of rules that will hopefully conserve the historical site for years to come.
The new guidelines went into effect July 1 as a result of a 2015 study by a United States archaeologist and recommendations from UNESCO officials on how to ensure Machu Picchu doesn’t sustain damage from the rising numbers of tourists.
One of the major changes is that tourists can’t spend the whole day at the site any longer.
New Hotel Policies Mean a Late Cancellation Will Cost You
New York Times
Business travel can be unpredictable: Flights can be delayed, meetings rescheduled or assignments changed — sometimes with little notice.
But now, those last-minute changes could prove costly as more hotels impose 48-hour minimums for canceling a stay without penalty.
Marriott International, which recently acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts, was the first with the new policy. Last month, it put into effect a 48-hour cancellation policy for new bookings within the Marriott and Starwood brand families in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. Hilton Worldwide is imposing a similar cancellation policy in the United States and Canada for new bookings as of the end of this month.
International tourism to the United States had been on an ascent over the past seven years as many economies recovered from the global recession of 2008 and 2009. But last year, that mountain of momentum hit a descent as nearly two million fewer international visitors traveled to the U.S. in 2016.
Last year, 75.6 million international arrivals (Canada, Mexico, and overseas) visited U.S. destinations, a 2.4 percent (more than 1.8 million) decrease in such arrivals from 2015, according to data from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office and U.S. Department of Commerce. The last year inbound tourism declined was 2009.
Only three of the top 10 countries for international visitation – Mexico, China, and South Korea – had more arrivals year-over-year. Some 81.9 percent represented leisure visits and 13.9 percent represented business travel.Add to Flipboard Magazine.