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October 22, 2014 - 01:25 PM ET

Red Lion Hotels Corp. Wednesday launched Hotel RL, a new lifestyle brand that is part of a plan announced this summer aggressively to grow its portfolio outside the West Coast. The brand features The Steps, an open pavilion-style lobby where complimentary Wi-Fi and coffee service will be available, according to RLHC president and CEO Greg Mount. RLHC anticipates the first addition to Hotel RL this year and the opening or conversion of more properties in 2015.

October 22, 2014 - 11:00 AM ET

American Airlines on Wednesday announced a codeshare agreement with Jetstar Japan. Owned in part by AA joint business partners Japan Airlines and Qantas, Jetstar Japan serves 10 destinations in Japan with a fleet of 18 Airbus A320 aircraft. Beginning Oct. 26, AA will add its code to Jetstar service between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa, Osaka and Sapporo.

October 22, 2014 - 09:35 AM ET

The average daily rate at U.S. hotels in September increased 5.3 percent year over year to $117.17, according to STR. ADR increased in all but one of the nation's top 25 markets. Four markets reported double-digit percentage ADR increases: Seattle (up 14 percent to $150.71), Boston (up 12.1 percent to $201.84), Nashville (up 12.1 percent to $119.50) and Denver (up 11.9 percent to $121.33). Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Va. fell 0.6 percent to $85.16, posting the only ADR decrease. U.S. hotel occupancy for September increased 3.9 percent to 65.7 percent and hotel demand for the month was up 8.6 percent, the second-highest increase of the year, fueled by group business, according to STR Analytics director Carter Wilson. 

October 22, 2014 - 09:25 AM ET

Hickory Global Partners named Grasp Technologies as its preferred tech provider, noting that Grasp's "automation, reporting and business intelligence solutions" will be made available to member agencies at a discount. The two companies intend to collaborate on new, tailored solutions and announced that Hickory would be "the first" organization to pilot the forthcoming Grasp-tripBam integration. Announced this month, Grasp-TB Sync will provide Hickory agencies automated back-office data transmission for tripBam's hotel shopping service.

October 21, 2014 - 01:00 PM ET

The average daily rate at InterContinental Hotels Group properties during the third quarter increased 3.6 percent year over year, the company reported Tuesday. Quarterly ADR increased in the Americas (4.6 percent), Europe (3.8 percent) and Asia, the Middle East and Africa (2.3 percent) but declined 2.6 percent in Greater China. Global occupancy increased 2.3 percentage points year over year. The company opened 8,000 rooms, signed 16,000 rooms into the system, and delivered net system size growth of 2.7 percent, according to IHG.

October 21, 2014 - 10:00 AM ET

Eurostar reported a 6 percent year-over-year increase in third-quarter business-class bookings, resulting from "growing economic confidence [in the United Kingdom] that … continued to gather momentum." Overall, the high-speed rail service provider linking the United Kingdom and mainland Europe said third-quarter passenger volume and sales revenue grew 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively, versus the year-earlier period. With its 20-year anniversary coming next month, Eurostar now claims 10 consecutive years of growing passenger counts and sales volumes. The company is planning network expansion in the coming years, including new service in 2016 between London and Amsterdam.

October 20, 2014 - 03:45 PM ET

Competing carriers have matched a U.S. domestic airfare hike initiated last week by Delta Air Lines, according to analysis by airfare comparison shopping site FareCompare. The carrier on Oct. 16 raised domestic roundtrip fares by up to $10, and Southwest, American, US Airways and United all matched the hike by the next day, FareCompare reported. This marks the first successful systemwide domestic fare increase since April, an increase also spurred by a Delta initiative, and it happened despite falling fuel prices, according to a research note from JPMorgan North America Equity Research.

October 20, 2014 - 03:00 PM ET

Total U.S. travel agency air transactions processed through ARC in September increased 5.4 percent from the year-earlier period. Mega travel management companies (listed by ARC as American Express, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Expedia's Egencia, Hogg Robinson Group and Omega World Travel) as a group posted a 4.7 percent increase, higher than their aggregate 2.2 percent year-to-date growth rate. For the online agency segment, transactions in September were marginally higher but still down 2.3 percent on the year. All those categorized as "other" combined for 10.2 percent transaction growth, above their 7.9 percent year-to-date increase. Meanwhile, the average roundtrip airfares (excluding taxes) purchased through ARC generally were flat versus September 2013 levels. That included $731 transacted through megas, $629 among those in the "other" category and $390 among online travel agencies. In the zero-to-six-day advance-purchase category, average September fares declined in each agency segment.

October 16, 2014 - 04:40 PM ET

U.S. Transportation Security Administration administrator John Pistole will step down at year-end, the agency announced Thursday. Pistole has led the TSA since June 2010, marking the longest tenure of anyone in the position. Pistole, whose accomplishments include the introduction of the TSA's PreCheck program, next year will move to a "position in academia," according to the agency.

October 16, 2014 - 02:30 PM ET

Singapore-based global distribution system Abacus partnered with Conferma to provide travel management companies the ability to create virtual cards, the payment technology provider announced. Agents will be able to create single-use 16-digit virtual cards for individual travel bookings including air, lodging, car rental, rail "and more," according to Conferma. Each virtual card can be used for booking and payment of multiple transactions and will have a specified amount, expiration date and merchant to prevent against misuse by unauthorized users. Conferma already partners with Sabre. Sabre Pacific, which services the Asia/Pacific region, is wholly owned by Abacus.