Memorial Day, the traditional kickoff of the summer travel season, is just days away, and many Americans will take to the roadways and skies during the coming holiday weekend. However, A dip in air travel, fee fatigue among travelers and a waffling economy are expected to contribute to a less busy and lucrative Memorial Day this year. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
» Summer travel: More crowds — and, for fliers, fees
» Tourism boom takes a breather in April
» Miami Beach residents, businesses, police brace for Memorial Day crush
» Tourism boom translates into boost for Visit Florida
After months of negative publicity surrounding broken-down cruise ships and fed-up passengers, the cruise industry’s trade group announced the adoption of a “Passenger Bill of Rights.” The 10-item list, released late Wednesday afternoon, specifically addresses issues that might arise if a ship suffers an emergency or mechanical failure. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida scores a middling grade in a new report card on job security in the United States. Wider Opportunities for Women, an advocacy group in Washington, gave Florida a C, crediting the Sunshine State for having more favorable policies at it relates to income (B) but trailing the nation on workplace benefits (D-), and being average when it comes to home affordability, consumer debt and occupational training (all Cs). [Source: Miami Herald]
New census estimates show that most of the nation's largest cities further enhanced their allure last year, posting strong population growth for a second straight year. Big cities surpassed the rate of growth of their surrounding suburbs at an even faster clip, a sign of America's continuing preference for urban living. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
South Florida home prices soared by more than 20 percent in April for a fifth consecutive month as buyers face strong competition and shrinking inventory. Buyers can't tour homes fast enough. Many properties attract bidding wars. And sellers are firmly in control, choosing cash offers and insisting that buyers shorten inspection periods and waive appraisal contingencies. More form the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› In first earnings report, SeaWorld reports rising sales [Orlando Sentinel]
Reporting financial results for the first time as a publicly traded company, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said Wednesday that it booked nearly $240 million in sales during the first three months of 2013, a 12 percent bump from a year ago that was fueled primarily by higher prices.
› Company pitches high-speed ferries for Tampa Bay [Tampa Bay Times]
HMS Ferries, Inc. formally unveiled plans for what they are calling high-speed ferry service that would start as commuter boat transportation between MacDill Air Force Base and southern Hillsborough County, home to many of its employees.
› Networking group anchors at start-up hub [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A technology networking group that hosts events and provides programs and education has located its base at the Technology Business Incubator, located in the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
› Incentives gap cools hot Miami TV series [Miami Today]
A promising show for Miami – and one that has proven staying power – might be a casualty of the Florida Legislature's failure to fund an aggressive film and entertainment incentive package.
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› Salaries for corporate CEOs at an all-time high, data shows [AP]
CEO pay has been going in one direction for the past three years: up. The head of a typical large public company made $9.7 million in 2012, up 6.5 percent from a year earlier.
› Oklahoma tornado unlikely to impact Florida property insurance market [Tampa Bay Times]
A recurring concern after any major storm is whether it will impact global prices for reinsurance, which refers to added layers of insurance that insurance companies buy to defray the payouts they would have to make after catastrophic events.
› Florida Lottery prepares for $590 million Powerball winner [First Coast News]
The world is still waiting to hear who bought that winning $590 million Powerball ticket in Zephyrhills last Saturday. The winner is required under Florida law to redeem the ticket at Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell says the agency is prepared to help the person through the claims process.
› Naples makes TripAdvisor's top 25 U.S. locations [Fort Myers News-Press]
Naples for the first time has landed a spot on TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travelers' Choice Destination awards. Miami and Orlando also made the list.