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Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Visit Planet Batuu on your next holiday

Space travel may be beyond the reach of most of us, but not when you visit Disney’s newest multi-million-dollar attraction, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Ardent Star Wars fan, Roderick Eime, travels to a galaxy far, far away. … Continue Reading

US Travel Needs to Address International Market Share Decline

Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO

Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO

By Roderick Eime in California for eGTM

At the 51st IPW held in Anaheim, California, Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO highlighted the fact that the US must address the country’s decline in international travel market share.

“When we met last year, I told you that the U.S. is losing international travel market share. Unfortunately, that is still the case,” said Dow in the standing-room-only press conference, “Just this past Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce put out figures showing that international travel to the U.S. grew 3.5% last year.

“That might sound pretty good—but not when you consider that globally, long-haul travel grew by 7%. What that means is that the U.S. is still falling behind in the competition to attract international visitors. That’s the bad news. And it means we have work to do.”

While popular opinion seems to point to Trump’s presidential style and the perception of dangerous crime, Dow politely side-stepped those issues noting that while US Travel is mindful of all factors affecting visitation, it is not the remit of his organisation to participate in such discussion.

“The number one factor affecting visitation to the US remains cost and the relative strength of the US dollar.”

Instead, Dow drew attention to the success of the pre-clearance and Visa Waiver programs already operating in numerous countries and how that has had a dramatic effect on visitation.

Australia, for example, already enjoys Visa Waiver status, but there was no mention of Australia in the pre-clearance program.

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Additionally, a new bill before Congress intends to rename the Visa Waiver Program to the Secure Travel Partnership

Pre-clearance involves visitors clearing US immigration procedures at the point of embarkation (ie the airport in their country of departure) thereby reducing pressure on US airports when visitors arrive. Dow mentioned that visitation numbers spike when such programs are enacted, citing a boost of nearly 50 per cent from South Korea.

The media were left with the takeaway of “Travel is trade, travel is security, and travel is commerce” reinforcing US Travel’s prime objective of boosting (and maintaining) the export trade surplus currently enjoyed by the US.

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IPW 2019 is being held in Anaheim, California and has attracted 6,000 delegates from 70 countries, including 500 media. The 2020 event will be held in Las Vegas.

A full transcript of the media conference can be found here:

https://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/media_root/U.S.%20Travel%20IPW%202019%20Transcript%20.pdf

Relive Riverboat History on the Murray River

May 25, 2019 Headline News No Comments

Australia’s riverboat history is a colourful one. What began as a challenge between two entrepreneurial merchants in the infant colonies, turned into a thriving industry for over half a century. … Continue Reading

Travel Feature Catalina Island

Catalina Island: 26 Miles Across the Sea by Roderick Eime, editor of Adventure Cruise Guide

“Twenty-six miles across the sea Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me Santa Catalina, the island of romance A tropical heaven out in the ocean” … Continue Reading

Lonely Lighthouses of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

Expedition cruiser, Roderick Eime, explores the wild and wonderful shores of eastern Canada aboard Silverseas’ Silver Cloud. … Continue Reading

Hawaiian Airlines Thanksgiving heralds 90th birthday

November 22, 2018 Headline News No Comments

Today is Thanksgiving Day – which Hawaiian Airlines celebrated on Tuesday with a cocktail party in Sydney’s Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour, complete with mai tai cocktails, Veuve Cliquot Champagne and latest news about the airline’s services. … Continue Reading

Wilpena Pound: A triumph under tarpaulin

“The roads were awful and the old bus slow and bumpy!”

Roderick Eime takes his mother on a nostalgic trip to the Flinders Ranges. … Continue Reading

Canada’s Periscope Into History David Ellis

October 27, 2018 Weird & Wacky No Comments

TRAVEL writing colleague Roderick Eime didn’t think too much about what appeared to be a very large flagpole sticking out of the roof of an old one-time warehouse he was walking by on a recent visit to St John’s in Newfoundland. … Continue Reading

137 Pillars on the move

From a century-old tumbledown teak house to a burgeoning luxury hotel brand, 137 Pillars adds Bangkok, Phuket and looks beyond Thailand … Continue Reading

Milwaukee: Easy does it

Roderick Eime look’s at USA’s smaller cities for a more relaxing experience.

If I were to ask you what you know about Milwaukee, Wisconsin, chances are you might recall the hit 1970s sitcom, ‘Laverne & Shirley’. Either that or you’re a bike nerd and know Milwaukee as the birthplace of the iconic US motorcycle brand, Harley-Davidson. … Continue Reading

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