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May 5, 2016    
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Relive the Biggest Show in Travel Goods. Just Check Your Mailbox.


The International Travel Goods Show may have passed, but shortly you can relive the excitement and discovery of being at the industry's biggest event. Look to your mailbox for the Post-Show Issue of Travel Goods Showcase for in-depth product coverage, industry goings-on, retailer impressions and this season's travel goods trends. Plus Association news, member happenings and the positive takeaway from the most recent State of the U.S. Travel Goods Market Report. The issue is on press right now, and will be in the hands of your mail carrier soon. Look for it – it's the next best thing to being at The Show.

China/Coast Guard Issue Guidance on New SOLAS Container Weight Rule


On April 28, the U.S. Coast Guard issued its long-awaited guidance on the new SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (VGM) container weight rule, which will go into effect on July 1, 2016. In its guidance, the Coast Guard essentially said it had no role in establishing guidance or best practices for implementing the new rule. Instead, it ceded all responsibility for implementing the new rule to the carriers, the shippers, and the ports. In March, the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) released its Recommended Best Practice for Acceptance and Transmission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM). The document confirms that if a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for a container is not provided by the time of loading, the container will not be loaded by an OCEMA member carrier. The new SOLAS container weight rule requires that, “as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified weight. The shipper is responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight.” Last week, China announced its guidance for complying with the new rule for containers leaving Chinese ports. TGA will continue to work to bring clarity to this important issue.

House Approves TGA-Supported MTB Reform Legislation, Senate Vote Expected Shortly


Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved TGA-supported legislation to create a process for considering bills that would temporarily reduce or eliminate duties (up to $500,000) on products that are no longer made in the U.S. The legislation (H.R. 4923) would create a process for Congress to consider Miscellaneous Tariff Bills – legislation through which TGA members have successfully reduced duties on a small number of travel goods over the years. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure shortly after it returns from recess on May 9.

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3 New Smart Suitcases for High-Tech Travelers


The old-school suitcase is getting an upgrade. Though innovation has been slow to hit the luggage industry, which accounts for $3.3 billion in revenue in the U.S., according to the Travel Goods Association, more companies have introduced high-tech luggage equipped with location tracking, phone chargers, and other savvy features that cater to connected travelers. READ MORE

Where to Find Hotel Deals? Try a Hotel.


When reserving a hotel room, do you book directly with the hotel, or through an online booking site like Expedia or Priceline? If you answered the latter, hotels are trying to change that. And you may stand to gain. READ MORE

TSA Makes More Than $765K in Passenger “Tips”


The TSA has been abiding by a strict "finders, keepers" model, and you probably never knew it. In 2015, passengers left $765,759.15 – mostly in loose change – in the plastic bins at airport security, according to the agency. And since running around to find people who might have left a dime or a nickel isn't exactly a good use of TSA agents' time, the agency collects the change...and keeps it. READ MORE

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This One Tool Can Lure Shoppers to a New Brand or Retailer


Brand loyalty is important to retailers, but one tool can lure loyal shoppers away to other establishments. Coupons are still one of the most effective tools to attract customers away from brands and retailers to which they are loyal, according to a report from Valassis. READ MORE

Carry-on Bags: Which Is Best for You?


When travelers trek into the unforgiving wilderness of today’s airports, they rely on a trusty companion: the carry-on bag. It is the key to avoiding baggage fees and an eternal wait at an empty, circling carousel at journey’s end. READ MORE

For Faster Train Travel, Amtrak Wants to Fix Railway Bottlenecks in Maryland


As Amtrak trains whisk passengers hundreds of miles along the East Coast between Boston and Washington, they're forced to slow down at four pinch points in Maryland, where ancient railroad infrastructure can't accommodate the high speeds and capacity of modern train technology. Eliminating those choke points would speed up travel along the Northeast Corridor, officials say, bringing Amtrak closer to its goal: a two-hour trip between New York and Washington. READ MORE

Hotels Use Instagram Communities to Curate Travel Guides for Guests


At a time when buzz words like “local” and “authentic” are used to describe nearly every travel experience, marketers are increasingly turning to social media, and to residents themselves, to come up with the very content that enables other travelers to have those very kinds of experiences. READ MORE

This App Solves One of Uber’s Biggest Problems


There are plenty of times when you know you’re going to need a lift well in advance – when you’re headed to the airport to catch a flight, for instance. But popular ride-hailing app Uber doesn’t allow users to schedule pickup requests ahead of time. A new app called TaxiLater, spotted by Gizmodo, aims to provide that missing feature. READ MORE

Eleven Signs You've Stayed in Your Job Too Long


It is easy to lose track of the passage of time when your job feels secure. We can easily be lulled into a stupor. That’s bad, because when you fall asleep on your career, you lose touch with the outside world and the market for your talents. Here are 11 signs that you’ve stayed in your current job too long. READ MORE