New study looks at ways to reduce traffic congestion, travel times in Northwest Arkansas


Make your voice heard

Planners are working to update the region’s traffic congestion management plan. The draft 2022 Congestion Management Process is open for public comment through Friday . Here’s a link to the draft: https://www.nwarpc.org/transportation/congestion-management-process/ .

Written comments can be sent to [email protected]

The Technical Advisory Committee of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission will consider the draft Thursday .

The group’s Policy Committee will consider approval of the draft May 25.

Source: Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission

Nobody likes sitting in traffic losing time and money, including regional planners who are studying ways to ease congestion on the region’s major roadways.

“The study basically analyzes where this congestion is occurring in the region,” said Tim Conklin, assistant director of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission. “Overall, we still have a lot of work to do in Northwest Arkansas as we continue to forecast significant growth in population over the next 25 years.”

Population projections for the region predict about a million people living here by 2045.

“We’re really blessed having our population grow over 100,000 people per decade over the last 30 years, but with that comes increased travel demand on our roadways and interstate,” he said. “If we were not growing, and the population was declining, and there were fewer people and fewer cars here, it’d be getting better.”

Traffic congestion, or gridlock, can cause more than just travel delays making a person late for work or school in the morning and late getting home in the evening. Other problems range from economic losses such as lost time and delays delivering goods to quality of life concerns and even safety.

Gridlock makes it harder to estimate how long it’s going to take to reach a destination, results in more fuel being burned, contributes to road rage and slows emergency response times. Sitting in traffic also eats into leisure time and time to do other tasks.

“When a region addresses traffic congestion well, it reduces commuting times and it cuts the cost of transporting goods. It strengthens the region’s business environment,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “Northwest Arkansas must add highways, expand public transit and embrace transportation technology to effectively manage traffic congestion and remain one of the nation’s best places.”

Congestion management plans are required for areas with populations of more than 200,000, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The plan for Northwest Arkansas was last updated in 2015. The administration defines congestion as an excess of vehicles on a road at a particular time resulting in speeds that are slower — sometimes much slower — than normal or free flow speeds.

Out of the 826 miles of road network in the region analyzed in 2019, about 71 miles were identified as congested.

“This year we’re updating it, the analysis year however is 2019, due to the pandemic and the impact on people commuting within our region,” Conklin said. “So, we have a snapshot in time of 2015 and 2019, and it helps us identify corridors in the region that are the most congested and the region should really focus on.”

The region’s 2015 congestion management plan identified about 228 miles of congested corridors in the region. A corridor is a generally linear area containing one or more modes of transportation. Many of those have since been addressed with transportation improvement projects, many in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Improvements to the Arkansas 265 corridor and widening of Interstate 49 and improvement to its interchanges are examples. Those roads are no longer identified as congested corridors in the new study, Conklin said.

Conklin said there are plans for more than $1.5 billion in regional transportation projects over the next 20 years to address growth and the four cities with voter-approved bond projects have over $500 million in work of their own.

“We have studies of the major corridors that have identified projects. It’s just going to take additional resources and planning to address our needs in Northwest Arkansas,” Conklin said.

The proposed Arkansas 1112 widening and improvements and the 612 Bypass project that is currently being planned and will be constructed over the next five or 10 years are a couple of examples, Conklin said. Another example is Arkansas 265, where the ultimate build-out is for a four lane facility through Rogers.

“We’ll update it again in a few years. There’s a lot of discussion about are people going to go back to the workplace and what is the new normal,” Conklin said. “I think post-covid, we’ll see how this all settles out and see how that impacts the transportation system. It’s been interesting to see that impact on the transportation system the last couple of years.”

Growth in Benton County is significantly impacting the transportation system around Bentonville and Rogers, particularly U.S. 62 and Arkansas 102 and Walton Boulevard, north and south.

In Washington County, significant congestion occurs on U.S. 412 in Springdale and on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the Wedington Drive/I-49 interchange area in Fayetteville.

Research has shown congestion is typically the result of six root causes often interacting with one another: limited physical capacity, poor traffic signal timing, traffic incidents, work zones, bad weather and special events.

Congestion management identifies areas congested, along with the causes, and then develops and implements solutions. The process includes measuring transportation system performance and reliability and evaluating how effective solutions have been.

An example would be syncing traffic signals across the region. Other strategies could include managing access to highways, adding traffic signals and adding capacity by widening roadways or building roads.

Defining and addressing congestion

Congested corridors are identified by the Federal Highway Administration as those roads which experience the worst (top 15%) congestion during any of four peak periods, including morning and evening rush hours, afternoons and weekends.

“For this study we used a two hour a.m. and p.m. window versus four and the reason for that is obviously in some of the bigger metro areas you have a longer duration of congested conditions,” Conklin said. “In Northwest Arkansas, you’re typically not having four hour periods of congestion.”

Several road projects which could address the congested corridors are identified in the study.

The congestion management process will also draw from a number of existing plans and studies, including the Regional Transportation Plan, Transit Development Plan and the Northwest Arkansas Bike-Ped Plan.

“As we continue to grow, we’ll improve our two-lane roads that have no sidewalks and open ditches and narrow lanes and curves with more of a complete street cross section that accommodates all users and modes of transportation,” Conklin said.

Complete streets are roads designed to include sidewalks, bike lanes and public transit accommodations.

In addition to streets and highways, planners will look at land-use planning, such as more mixed-use development, infill and greater density and plans to limit sprawl. They’ll also look at adding safety measures and including facilities such as bike lanes and dedicated paths to get people moving on bicycles and walking more. Expanded public transit service across the region will also figure significantly in the plan, such as bus rapid transit systems and routes connecting various cities.

Two other plans are in the works to complement the congestion management process by using technology to manage traffic, according to Elizabeth Bowen, a senior planner at Regional Planning. The idea is to modernize traffic signals to improve traffic flow using electronic monitoring and automation to provide real-time traffic and transit management.

Advanced traveler information systems could also be used to provide an extensive amount of data to travelers, such as real-time speed estimates on the web or over wireless devices, and transit vehicle schedule progress.

Traffic control systems, often housed within a traffic management center, could monitor the volume and flow of traffic using a system of sensors and cameras and analyze traffic conditions to spot developing problems. Then the system would make adjustments to traffic signal timing in order to optimize traffic flow.

Equipment could also change posted traffic speed limits approaching areas of congestion, bottlenecks, traffic incidents and other conditions that affect traffic flow.

The cost of sitting in traffic

Nationally, traffic congestion in the U.S. cost drivers more than $53 billion in 2021, a 41% increase from 2020, according to the Inrix 2021 Global Traffic Scorecard, released in December. Inrix specializes in global transportation analytics.

The average American driver lost 36 hours due to congestion-related delays, costing $564 in wasted time. That was a 10 hour increase from 2020, but 63 hours below prepandemic levels.

With many people stuck at home, driving fell significantly, dropping 40% in April 2020, according to Inrix.

Economic costs were calculated based on a report by the Federal Highway Administration which calculated a driver’s time is worth $15.60 an hour, according to an Inrix news release. Inrix calculates time loss as the difference between driving during commute hours versus driving at night with little traffic.

“Covid-19’s impact on transportation has continued through 2021, transforming when, where and how people move. Although congestion climbed 28% this year, Americans still saved 63 hours compared to normal,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at Inrix. “The most notable change to commuting during the pandemic — other than reduced travel times and volumes — was the lack of downtown travel.”

A 2012 study commissioned by the Northwest Arkansas Council found sitting in traffic was costing Northwest Arkansas residents more than $103 million a year in wasted time and gas. Since that study was done, some improvements have been made to address congestion, but more cars have also been added to the mix because of the region’s population growth. The study hasn’t been updated.

Eliminating traffic congestion may not be possible, particularly in fast growing regions, the congestion management study concludes. Moreover, eliminating congestion may not actually be desired if it comes at the expense of economic vitality, community livability, or bicycle/pedestrian access. Therefore, it’s important to define what is considered “unacceptable congestion” and set appropriate objectives for congestion management that supports regional goals.

  photo  Traffic moves south Thursday, May 12, 2022, on College Avenue in Fayetteville. Regional Planners got their first look last week at a draft of a new traffic congestion management process for the Northwest Arkansas metro area. The study provides a basic assessment of traffic conditions and lays the groundwork for developing strategies to ease congestion on the region?s major roadways. Visit nwaonline.com/220515Daily/ for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
 
 
  photo  Traffic moves Thursday, May 12, 2022, through the intersection of Joyce Boulevard and College Avenue in Fayetteville. Regional Planners got their first look last week at a draft of a new traffic congestion management process for the Northwest Arkansas metro area. The study provides a basic assessment of traffic conditions and lays the groundwork for developing strategies to ease congestion on the region?s major roadways. Visit nwaonline.com/220515Daily/ for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
 
 
  photo  Traffic moves Thursday, May 12, 2022, along College Avenue in Fayetteville. Regional Planners got their first look last week at a draft of a new traffic congestion management process for the Northwest Arkansas metro area. The study provides a basic assessment of traffic conditions and lays the groundwork for developing strategies to ease congestion on the region?s major roadways. Visit nwaonline.com/220515Daily/ for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
 
 

 



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The Best U.S. Cities for Homebodies, According to a New Study




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Case study: AJG | Business Travel News Europe


“Our business travel has returned with such vigour that our vendors are commenting that we will definitely meet and likely exceed our 2019 volume this year,” says Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. sourcing director Harriet Washburn.

The insurance and risk management broker never really put the kibosh on business travel during the pandemic. “We are a client-facing organisation, and we like to be in front of our clients,” says Washburn. “We like to prospect for new business.”

That said, volume definitely slowed at the height of Covid-19. AJG had a temporary stop when airlines sliced capacity and grounded planes. Like many companies, AJG loaded a lot of cancelled airfares onto UATP cards. After that point, the company elevated travel approvals to the SVP level, and distributed “all sorts of caveats and guidelines and cautions” to prepare employees who chose to travel but held back on any blanket halt on travel activity. Washburn said the company lifted trip approvals “several months ago” and the pent-up demand has sent levels through the roof.

“We exhausted the UATP funds right away,” says Washburn. “Our employees returned to travel with an alacrity that was astounding.” Including, she says, complex, multi-leg international trips with the support of risk management. “We haven’t had many problems.”

In growth mode
Is this kind of business travel trajectory unique to AJG? Not really. We spoke to a number of companies, often those that engaged in essential worker travel or businesses that actually boomed during the pandemic, where business travel never went into a deep hibernation. Patterns changed, precautions changed and approval levels changed, but business travel continued. As the pandemic mindset times out in these companies, business travel is gaining volume almost immediately.

T-Mobile is another company that let its business determine the level of travel during the pandemic, with precautions and elevated approval, but without a hard stop. Jennie Robertson took a travel manager role at the company during the pandemic and says the company has returned to near 100 per cent of pre-pandemic travel. But with a wrinkle: “T-Mobile acquired Sprint during that time,” she says, taking on their workers and travellers in the process and formulating travel volume around some new origin and destination cities like Kansas City and Frisco, Texas.

AJG has the same story, says Washburn, but on a global scale, extending points of sale to new markets in Europe and the Middle East as well as to Asia-Pacific.

“The most exciting news is the result of a very significant acquisition. We are in the process of launching new points of sale globally. And what I find intriguing is that the company from which people are joining us had halted all travel. There’s significant pent-up demand and as of the day these folks formally joined Gallagher, they were ready to book travel.”

Changing the programme?
Truth be told, the programme hasn’t changed that much for AJG, says Washburn. For T-Mobile, the pandemic ushered in a new TMC partnership thanks to consolidation, but policies and procedures haven’t been unrecognisably altered.

What has been different is how the company has sourced its programme and communicated with partners. Washburn cited a bigger reliance on chainwide agreements and allowing existing contracts to roll over into the next year. She also says her suppliers had been supportive of her business travellers’ needs – with airlines pooling funds to UATP cards and car rental partners finding cars amid shortages. AJG’s TMC, Egencia, rolled out some technology enhancements that facilitated better travel processes.

Asked whether she thought continuing to travel during the pandemic and staying close to customers gave AJG a competitive advantage over peer companies, Washburn demurred.

“I really wouldn’t want to comment, but I can say that we are told by our vendors that we have recovered, that we continue to travel more aggressively during the pandemic and that we are the first to rebound. So that’s really as far as I’d want to go on that. But you can impart from that what you wish.”



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Study Reveals Gas Prices Surpassing COVID-19 as Leading Travel Obstacle


The COVID-19 pandemic is becoming less and less of a barrier to travel for many Americans, according to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of U.S. travelers.

Research shows that the latest modest increase in COVID-19 cases across the country is not deterring Americans’ travel planning in 2022 as only one in five or 19 percent of travelers have indicated that the virus will “greatly impact” their travel decisions in the next six months.

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That figure marks the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020.

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Instead of COVID-19, it’s rising gas prices that are leading to hesitancy among travelers, with two-thirds indicating that fuel prices will impact their travel decisions in the next six months. What’s more, more than one-third say these costs will greatly impact their travel plans in the near future. Surging prices at the pump have led travelers to choose destinations closer to home and even reduce the number of trips they are taking, Longwoods International found.

The additional gas costs are also impacting Americans’ spending on retail, entertainment and recreation as well as food and beverage and lodging. In some cases, travelers are choosing to drive rather than fly to their destination.

“Barring a major reversal in the course of the pandemic, COVID-19’s impact on the travel and tourism industry appears to be tailing off,” Longwoods International President and CEO Amir Eylon said in a statement. “Concerns about gas prices and other inflationary pressure on costs have become a more significant challenge even as pandemic fears recede.”

The survey, which was supported by Miles Partnership, was conducted last week using a national sample randomly drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults age 18 and over. Quotas were used to match Census targets for age, gender, and region to make the survey representative of the entire U. S. population.





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UCF doctor working with Axiom to study effects of space travel on eyesight


ORLANDO, Fla. – UCF Health ophthalmologist Mehul Patel is preparing to study how the microgravity environment of space affects the structure and function of the eye.

Patel is one of three physicians with UCF Health working along with Axiom Space and two Israeli medical centers to conduct clinical studies with the civilian passengers of the upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon flight.

“We wanna know what happens because we know that in longer duration space travel, gravity plays a very important role in how our body functions and how we see,” Patel said. “Space is very exciting because we don’t really have a way to mimic what happens to the body when we go into a different environment.”

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Eytan Stibbe, a veteran of the Israeli Airforce, is one of the civilians traveling to the International Space Station who Patel will be examining. News 6 was provided video of Stibbe taking part in the pre-testing phase with Patel.

“From an eye standpoint, it’s not just the eyeball but it’s also the entire visual pathway that we’re interested in. When you’re 250 miles up in the air you’re in a microgravity environment and so, the body undergoes changes,” Patel said.

Patel will be using a noninvasive approach called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) with the comprehensive imaging device called the Spectralis HRA+OCT2 on loan to UCF from Heidelberg Engineering in Germany. This is the first space eye study that will benefit from this kind of detailed imaging.

“The type of imaging that we’re getting from the back of the eye has never been obtained before,” Patel said. “From an ophthalmology standpoint, we’re actually looking at the blood flow and blood vessels of the back of the eyeball in greater detail.”

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UCF’s medical studies will also include a look at how the brain and its structure are impacted by space travel.

“There (are) changes in your bones, there (are) changes in your skin, there (are) changes in your brain. We wanna know what happens to the body as we travel in space,” Patel said. “Now we’re looking to go beyond the moon right and it’s not just astronauts that are going up. It’s actually becoming more commercial.”

Axiom’s SpaceX Crew Dragon launch is expected for Friday morning from Kennedy Space Center.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.



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Bringing it together – a case study


THE Swiss bank UBS has a very mature travel programme with online booking in place for almost 15 years. Kevin Carr, the bank’s corporate travel manager, said the company implemented a new online booking tool five years ago, with Amadeus’ Cytric.

With the implementation, UBS moved away from different tools in different regions. “Prior to the current partnership, we had different tools in each region, but we decided that we wanted to globalise as there are lots of benefits around having global servicing standards,” he told BTN Europe.

While Cytric is UBS’s online booking tool from global distribution player Amadeus, the bank contracts directly with Travelport as its GDS and American Express Global Business Travel as its travel management company, which typically works with Sabre.

“It is ultimately about owning the relationship,” says Carr. “If you have a decent-sized programme you want to be influencing the partner. You don’t want the TMC to be driving that partnership and development falling onto the TMC’s roadmap. You want to be influencing the provider and prioritising your strategy.”

Do you find the best TMC and best OBT and try to work them together or find the partnerships which might have some compromises or less content but is a better connection? “We have always worked at having the best in the market for that service and forcing them to work together,” he said.

Carr also points out that it is clear that certain OBTs and TMCs work better together, despite most TMCs saying they work with every tool in the market.

“This idea of being agnostic is a bit of nonsense really,” he said. “Ultimately, we all know there are always complications and you do lose certain functionality and features if not using the right GDS, TMC or OBT.”

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

With many vested interests in the market – preferred supplier deals can distort what TMCs offer and even what consultants suggest – so buyers have to rely on other more independent sources. A good place to start is in your personal network of buyers or through association networks like  ITM or GBTA, he suggested.

Carr said, “Travel is inherently complicated because of the various commercial models, and you never know who gets what from whom.”

He recommended for those not in the position to contract directly, identifying the content and functionality that is a must-have for the corporate is vital since sometimes the ultimate choice will involve compromise.

“It is all about understanding what the needs of the programme are – the destinations and markets you want to cover,” said Carr.

He added, “Rail as a specific category has become much more important because of sustainability. Whereas it might not have mattered previously if you didn’t have rail in some countries, now we are very concerned to have it.”

In this case, the content requirement has made choosing an OBT provider slightly easier. “Everyone has GDS, Booking.com, HRS and Expedia but not everybody has got rail,” Carr said.



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Posthaste: Rise in tax-driven insolvencies ‘just the tip of the iceberg,’ warns study


Good morning!

Canadians’ finances have fared better than expected during the pandemic, with consumer insolvencies on the decline rather than on the rise, as you would normally expect in a downturn.

Insolvencies, kept in check by low interest rates and government income support, are almost a third lower than they were before the pandemic, finds a new study by insolvency trustees Hoyes Michalos.

But the amount insolvent Canadians owe is creeping up. Their average in unsecured debt rose 3.3% in 2021 from the year before to $50,484, the highest Hoyes Michalos’ annual bankruptcy study Joe Debtor has seen since 2016.

What drove that rise wasn’t credit cards and personal loans, but an increase in money owed to the taxman and student loan debt.

“Tax debts have returned as a primary debt driver of consumer insolvencies,” said Doug Hoyes in a release. “This is despite a slowdown in collection activity by the Canada Revenue Agency these last two years.”

Four in 10 insolvent debtors owed taxes — on average $19,776, up from a low of $15,866 the year before. Taxes owed can include income tax, HST, source deductions and property taxes.

Insolvent tax debtors owed on average $63,572 in total unsecured debt, 25.3% more than the average insolvent debtor.

“Much of the increase was due to tax obligations created by CERB and CRB payments made in 2020, which had little to no taxes withheld at source,” said Ted Michalos. “In our view, this increase in tax insolvencies is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Hoyes Michalos sees three changes in 2022 that will push tax-driven insolvencies even higher.

  • CRA collection action on tax debts, which eased somewhat during the pandemic, will ramp back up. “We have already seen a slight uptick in collection behaviour by the CRA. We expect more aggressive action to resume in 2022,” said the study.
  • Interest relief on taxes owing from COVID-19 benefits ends April 30, 2022
  • More Canadians, especially those who received CERB and CRA, will face a tax bill, rather than a refund, this year

Hoyes Michalos also flags student loan debt as a growing concern. Average student loan debt among insolvent debtors that carried it rose 11.5% to $17,005, the highest since their study began in 2011.

“Heavily indebted Canadians just can’t seem to catch a break,” said Michalos. “COVID-19 has caused a decrease in income for our average client, yet their housing and other costs of living continue to soar, with no sign that inflation will slow down any time soon. Insolvent debtors are left with just $200 a month, after paying for necessities, to put towards their debts. It’s unmanageable.”

 

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Posthaste: Rise in tax-driven insolvencies ‘just the tip of the iceberg,’ warns study


Good morning!

Canadians’ finances have fared better than expected during the pandemic, with consumer insolvencies on the decline rather than on the rise, as you would normally expect in a downturn.

Insolvencies, kept in check by low interest rates and government income support, are almost a third lower than they were before the pandemic, finds a new study by insolvency trustees Hoyes Michalos.

But the amount insolvent Canadians owe is creeping up. Their average in unsecured debt rose 3.3% in 2021 from the year before to $50,484, the highest Hoyes Michalos’ annual bankruptcy study Joe Debtor has seen since 2016.

What drove that rise wasn’t credit cards and personal loans, but an increase in money owed to the taxman and student loan debt.

“Tax debts have returned as a primary debt driver of consumer insolvencies,” said Doug Hoyes in a release. “This is despite a slowdown in collection activity by the Canada Revenue Agency these last two years.”

Four in 10 insolvent debtors owed taxes — on average $19,776, up from a low of $15,866 the year before. Taxes owed can include income tax, HST, source deductions and property taxes.

Insolvent tax debtors owed on average $63,572 in total unsecured debt, 25.3% more than the average insolvent debtor.

“Much of the increase was due to tax obligations created by CERB and CRB payments made in 2020, which had little to no taxes withheld at source,” said Ted Michalos. “In our view, this increase in tax insolvencies is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Hoyes Michalos sees three changes in 2022 that will push tax-driven insolvencies even higher.

  • CRA collection action on tax debts, which eased somewhat during the pandemic, will ramp back up. “We have already seen a slight uptick in collection behaviour by the CRA. We expect more aggressive action to resume in 2022,” said the study.
  • Interest relief on taxes owing from COVID-19 benefits ends April 30, 2022
  • More Canadians, especially those who received CERB and CRA, will face a tax bill, rather than a refund, this year

Hoyes Michalos also flags student loan debt as a growing concern. Average student loan debt among insolvent debtors that carried it rose 11.5% to $17,005, the highest since their study began in 2011.

“Heavily indebted Canadians just can’t seem to catch a break,” said Michalos. “COVID-19 has caused a decrease in income for our average client, yet their housing and other costs of living continue to soar, with no sign that inflation will slow down any time soon. Insolvent debtors are left with just $200 a month, after paying for necessities, to put towards their debts. It’s unmanageable.”

 

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Study: Accommodation Wages Rising Amid Worker Shortage


Wages in 2021 rose in the accommodation sector while employment figured declined, and the gap between the two is larger than in any other surveyed industry, according to an analysis published by Lending Tree. 

The company in its MagnifyMoney Study analyzed the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages and discovered that the accommodation sector is where average weekly wages grew the fastest relative to employment growth, increasing from $629 in the first and second quarters of 2020 to $700 in the first and second quarters of 2021, an 11.2 percent hike. 

But employment declined 11.3 percent from the first and second quarters of 2020 to the third and fourth quarters of 2021. The difference in the wage and employment percentage-point changes is 22.5, creating, according to the study, “a mismatch between the supply of and demand for workers in the industry, combined with the willingness of some employers to take somewhat desperate measures to stay afloat, has caused wages for accommodation workers to rise significantly.”

The Hits Keep Coming

In September 2021, 6.6 percent what BLS defines as the accommodation and food services sector workforce were quitting at the highest rate of any industry. This included frontline workers like housecleaners and waitstaff, whose past earning power had been tied to gratuities.

Higher wages and compensation for these and other workers are a part of the supply-and-demand challenges that the industry faces and could translate to higher rates for corporate customers. 

Travel buyers who have seen hoteliers’ challenges reflected in higher room rates can expect more of the same. Last month, STR and Tourism Economics increased their projected 2022 U.S. average daily date from $130 to $134. STR SVP of consulting Carter Wilson in a statement said, “Terms of recovery are not playing out evenly across the board, and many hoteliers have had to raise rates to minimize the bottom‐line hit from labor and supply shortages.”

For the accommodation segment, increasing wages and compensation appears to be the short-term solution as the industry struggles to find its new normal. 



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These Are The Most-Reviewed Hotspots in NYC, New Travel Study Finds – NBC New York


A new study revealed the most-reviewed places around the world and hotspots found in New York City — some of which may come as a surprise.

Tripadvisor, an online travel research company founded in 2000, recently reached a milestone of one billion contributions, tips, photos, likes, comments and threads.

“We are so grateful for the contributions that the Tripadvisor community has made over these last 22 years. Trusted reviews and opinions from travelers are the heart and soul of the platform and help make everyone a better traveler, enabling millions of businesses to flourish and drive trillions of dollars in economic value across the globe,” said Stephen Kaufer, President and CEO of Tripadvisor.

The most-reviewed attraction of all time in NYC shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: Central Park, with over 133,000 reviews. The over 840-acre park also champions the number one most talked-about spot in the entire U.S.

Based on the Central Park Conservancy, it’s no wonder why Central Park is one of the most popular destinations with 42 million visits per year.

According to the travel site, the top-ranked attraction in the city remains The National 9/11 Memorial.

When it comes to stays, Row NYC Hotel has the most reviews reaching 25,000 with members commenting on the prime Times Square location. However, it ranks on the bottom half of over 500 hotel rankings found in the Big Apple.

The number one hotel in NYC rated currently on the site is the Pendry Manhattan West near Hudson Yards.

Out of the thousands of restaurants rated online, Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Midtown takes home the most reviews of nearly 20,000. With juicy burgers and fluffy pancakes paired with a singing waitstaff, visitors loved the one-stop dinner and a show.

Lebanese and Middle Eastern restaurant Au Za’atar is labeled the best eatery on Tripadvisor in NYC.

The three most-mentioned dishes in restaurant reviews worldwide were pizza, pie and salad. The eatery that holds the most comments in the world is Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal.



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