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SCOTT JAGOW: Labor Day is considered the end of the summer travel season, so let’s recap. Gas prices were pretty awful. And it was really hot, everywhere. But that didn’t keep people from flying. The airlines had their best summer in years. And that gave the whole travel industry a boost. Here’s Rachel Dornhelm.
RACHEL DORNHELM: Domestic hotel operators didn’t get a vacation this summer, but that’s good news for them. The U.S. lodging industry is on target for its strongest showing since the 2000 season when revenues hit $23.5 billion.
Joe McInerny is president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He says despite rising gas prices, people kept traveling.
JOE MCINERNY: What they did do is change some of their travel patterns from taking longer trips to taking the same amount of time but in shorter distances.
McInerny says a big uptick in international tourists also helped.
MCINERNY: Due to the differential between the euro and the dollar and the pound and the dollar the United States was a great travel bargain for the Europeans.
The destination with the biggest bump in occupancy rates this summer was New York City.
McInerny says the Big Apple is now on pace to best even Honolulu for the hottest vacation spot of 2006.
I’m Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.
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