AND THEY SMELL BETTER, TOO
Found a study from AirPlus International that says women business types fly less than businessmen, book earlier - and spend less. Which is a good thing if you're the employer but bad if you're the hotel or restaurant or airline.
According to the study, women paid $2,692 for an average flight in business class and $411 for an economy flight, while men paid $2,817 for the average business class flight and $495 for economy.
The study also said the average woman booked a flight 19.2 days prior to departure, compared to 15.4 days for men.
I have no idea what this means but I suspect it does nothing to help me win arguments with my wife about how organized men can be when we really try.
On a slightly different note, AirPlus International's Christian Gall said average hotel spending in the UK dropped from $414 last October to $311 in March.
The Mexico Tourism Board today said it's pleased that Canada has removed the travel warning for Canadians, a move that came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had lifted its travel warning against all nonessential travel to Mexico.
"Mexico's government and tourism authorities are very satisfied with the decision taken by the CDC," officials said today.
Gee, ya think?
Anyway, it's been an awfully rough time for Mexico's tourism industry, and they say they'll pull out all stops and are promising "the best service in the world" to anyone who visits.
SUNNY SKIES ... OR JUST LESS HASSLE?
A group called the American Customer Satisfaction Index says Americans are happier with the airline industry. But the overall scores are still nothing to write home about.
USA Today reports that "the airline business scored 64 out of 100 in the first quarter of this year, a 3.2% increase over the same period a year ago."
But airlines still get lousy marks compared to some other industries. Full-service restaurants, for example, notched an overall satisfaction rating of 84. And the 64 points for airlines in the first part of this year is well behind the 72 score the industry achieved in 1994.
"It certainly looks like most of these increases, if not all, are due to lower passenger load," says Claes Fornell, professor of business at the University of Michigan and index founder. The lower number of passengers "means more seat availability, shorter lines, more on-time arrival, fewer lost bags, and all that probably adds up to a slightly higher level of satisfaction."
The ACSI also found that Internet Travel companies have a 75 per cent satisfaction rating; a good deal higher than airlines, and that motion pictures got a 74 mark.
As for individual airlines (drum roll, please), they found that Southwest came out with the best ranking for a whopping 16th years in a row, scoring 81 (apparently on the basis of on-time flights and luggage handling). Continental was at 68, with Delta at 64, American at 60, US Airways at 59, Northwest at 57 and United down at 56.
If there's anything like this in Canada, I'm not aware of it. But I'd love to see the numbers.
HONG KONG HANGING IN
Hong Kong tourism folks say they received more tourists in the first three months of this year than last.
Tourist visits went from 7.275 million in the first quarter of 2008 to 7.403 million in the first quarter of this year. Numbers were down about 18 per cent from the Americas, but mainland Chinese visitors jumped by 12.6 per cent to about 4.675 million; more than making up for the loss.