October 13, 2004

The International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus and show organizer PGI have decided to scrap the New York City Destinations Showcase in 2005, based on a recent survey of the IAVCB membership. Destinations Showcases, owned and operated by PGI for IACVB, still will be held in Washington, D.C., and Chicago next year. According to Shawn Corwin, Destinations Showcase committee chair and vice president of sales at the Bloomington (Minn.) CVB, the New York version of the show has had good turnout in the past, but was not as productive as the other two markets have been. She added IACVB is working with members to create another type of event to reach New York-area planners.

Amtrak has announced it will strictly enforce its passengers' baggage allowances as of Nov. 1. These allowances actually have been in place since 2002, but an Amtrak spokesperson said passengers can expect to be delayed or not allowed on the train if they exceed weight limitations. Amtrak's regulations can be seen here.

Nancy Holtzman, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives since 1997, announced on Monday her plans to retire as of Dec. 31. Holtzman, with 25 years of industry experience, called her tenure with ACTE the "crowning achievement" of her career. ACTE's board of directors has begun a search for a new executive director for the association.

Kohler Co., owners of the upscale American Club golf resort in Kohler, Wis., has acquired the 134-room Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in St. Andrews, Scotland, from the Kosaido Co. Kohler will own and operate the Old Course Hotel and the nearby Dukes Golf Course, as well as the spa and two full-service restaurants within the hotel.

The legacy airlines (American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, US Airways) could attempt another fare increase, after successfully rolling out a fuel surcharge, an airline expert warned last week. According to Tom Parsons, CEO of Bestfares.com, a $5 fare hike launched by American Airlines last Wednesday was matched by the other legacy carriers -- including Northwest Airlines, which in the past has declined to raise its fares, preventing previous hikes from sticking. "Northwest has the fortune of competing with low-cost carriers the least," said Parsons. "Now that Northwest has gone along on the two most recent hikes, the floodgates are open for more." Further attempts to raise fares could come as early as this week, Parsons predicted.