A few words from Christina Trauthwein

Christina Trauthwein

These days, it seems like everyone has a bucket list. I’ve never formally created one, but I have a few “need-to-do-this-someday” items in my head. In fact, a few years ago, I created a “dream book,” in which I wrote down some things I hope to achieve during my life. I like to think of it as the more positive spin on the morbidly titled bucket list.

So, I just crossed one off—I took a summer vacation to Alaska. This natural beauty of a state might be our 49th, but it was my 50th. I admit, I was fortunate to get an early start on what had become a personal goal of mine: When I was about 10, my parents packed up the VW bus and we journeyed from New York to Arizona. It was a summer I’d never forget—and the catalyst for my complete-the-country dream.

Why all this talk of my summer vacations? Well, Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) just released data earlier this week saying that Americans are spending more on summer vacations this year, topping $100 billion for the first time in the AGA survey’s eight-year history. This represents a 12.5% increase over last year. Not only that, but Americans’ spending habits have risen for the second consecutive year—the total projected spend on summer vacations is $101.1 billion, up from $89.9 billion in 2016. On average, we’ll spend $1,978 on summer vacations, a 10% increase from 2016 ($1,798). Millennials will spend the least ($1,373), followed by baby boomers ($1,865), and Gen Xers will spend the most ($2,628), on average.

“Americans are feeling better about the economy and have loosened their purse strings for summer 2017,” said Daniel Durazo at AGA USA. “ This new milestone is great news for the travel industry.”

And great news for our industry is always good to share! Happy summer…


To the Editor:
Christina, I just read the article regarding the 25th anniversary issue in which Steve Belmonte was quoted. First of all, congratulations on the first 25 years and I wish you and the magazine continued success.

Kudos to Steve and you for “telling it like it is.” Not sure how all the special-interest groups forward the greater good of the hospitality business. I also have spent some time in the industry and recall the days of what hospitality meant. It seems today, the segmentation part has become an “us and them” rather than brand identity.

Keep up the good work, and I look forward to reading more thought-provoking articles.

—Laurie Benjamin, CEO, Benjamin Brothers Purchasing LLC

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