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April 24, 2015 - 03:45 PM ET

Hickory Global Partners partnered with value-added-tax reclamation provider Universal VAT Services to take advantage of the fact that many foreign countries will refund such taxes to foreign travelers. "Our strategic alliance with UVS means that our agency members can present this revenue-generating solution for their corporate clients with employees traveling to countries that refund VAT, thereby potentially positively impacting their clients’ bottom lines,” noted Hickory president Chris Dane.

April 24, 2015 - 03:45 PM ET

Red Lion Hotels Corp. will acquire GuestHouse International for $8.5 million, Red Lion announced Friday. It will retain the GuestHouse International brand, as well as GuestHouse’s franchised Settle Inn & Suites brand, while expanding its portfolio from 57 hotels to 130 across 30 states. The companies have signed a definitive agreement, and the transaction is expected to close April 30, according to Red Lion.

April 23, 2015 - 03:40 PM ET

Alaska Airlines on Thursday reported a first-quarter 2015 net income of $149 million, up from $94 million in the first quarter of 2014. It's a first-quarter record for the carrier. Passenger revenue increased 10 percent year over year to $7.3 billion. Traffic increased 9.1 percent as capacity increased 10.8 percent, leading to a 1.3 percentage point decline in load factor to 83.4 percent. Passenger revenue per available seat mile declined 5.7 percent year over year, and yield declined 4.2 percent.

April 22, 2015 - 03:55 PM ET

Reserved occupancy at North American hotels for the second quarter of 2015 is up 0.8 percent from the same period last year, according to the April TravelClick North American Hospitality Review. Reserved group business occupancy is up 1.9 percent year over year, and the average daily rate for those bookings is up 4 percent. Transient business reserved occupancy is down 1.9 percent year over year, while ADR for those bookings is up 6.5 percent. For the year, transient business committed occupancy is down 0.6 percent and ADR for that segment is up 6.9 percent.

April 22, 2015 - 10:40 AM ET

The average daily rate at U.S. hotels in March increased 4.9 percent year over year to $120.38, according to STR. Occupancy increased 2.3 percent to 66.8 percent, the highest recorded March occupancy rate, STR senior vice president of strategic development Jan Freitag said. In the San Francisco/San Mateo area, ADR increased 13.4 percent year over year to $210.40, the largest percentage increase among the nation’s top 25 markets. New Orleans reported the largest ADR decrease among those markets, with a drop of 5.2 percent to $159.90.

April 21, 2015 - 05:50 PM ET

March air transactions processed by mega travel agencies and settled through ARC rose 3.4 percent year over year, according to ARC data. Mega agencies include American Express, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Egencia, HRG and Omega World Travel. Online agencies as a group, including Orbitz for Business and Travelocity Business, witnessed a 12 percent rise in ARC air transactions from March 2014, while the group of travel agencies classified by ARC as "other" posted a 7.8 percent increase. In total, March U.S. travel agency air ticket transactions rose 8.2 percent year over year, according to ARC.

April 20, 2015 - 04:00 PM ET

Red Roof Inn will expand into Canada with four hotels slated to open by 2016, the company announced Monday. Red Roof signed a 20-year agreement with developer Glenn Squires to build 40 hotels across Canada, according to a media release. The first four will be built in the Eastern and Atlantic regions, and most of the hotels will be Red Roof Plus properties with indoor pools and adjacent restaurants. Red Roof president Andrew Alexander said the move signals strong international demand and that Canada is a “perfect market” for the company.

April 20, 2015 - 02:00 PM ET

Wyndham Hotel Group appointed Carol Bullock as vice president of global sales for North America and Latin America and Dawn Parisi as vice president of field sales, the company announced Monday. Bullock joins from Dolce Hotels and Resorts, where she worked on sales and marketing for North America, and Parisi joins from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, where she served as area director of sales and marketing for Caribbean hotels.

April 20, 2015 - 09:40 AM ET

BMO Financial Group clients participating in the Diners Club International rewards program now can pool Club Reward points for company use, senior manager of T&E corporate card products Alan Docherty told BTN. Under the new Corporate Collect program, every U.S. dollar spent equals one point and “will roll up to the corporation to use,” instead of the individual cardholder, Docherty explained. American Express in 2013 launched a similar program specifically for small businesses; BMO's program launched in January and is used by a few small and midmarket companies but is open to clients of all sizes, he said. BMO also plans to roll out a virtual card product this spring, following a pilot program launched in July 2014, he said.

April 17, 2015 - 11:55 AM ET

Ovation Travel Group named Jenn Smukler director of sales, meetings and events. Prior to joining the New York City-based travel management company, Smukler held positions in hospitality sales for InterContinental Hotels Group, Warwick International Hotels and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.