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 Feature Industry Articles 
Wednesday, March 16 2016
Top Trends in Tourism and What They Mean for Your Community

By Tom Dworetsky, Analyst at Camoin Associates

Tourism is big business worldwide, and communities of all sizes want in on the action. Understanding the key trends that are reshaping the industry can give your community a boost in transforming from unknown to unequaled.

Tourism Defined
In its broadest sense, tourism is defined as the collection of activities engaged in by visitors to a destination that is located outside of their usual environment. The reasons for a visitor’s travel may consist of those activities most traditionally thought of as tourism-related, such as leisure, a vacation, or visiting friends and relatives, but they may also encompass employment-related travel, attending a convention or conference, or other business reasons. The tourism industry, therefore, can be defined as consisting of any establishments that cater to visitors and directly benefit from visitor expenditure. The Bureau of Economic Analysis divides visitor spending into four main categories:

  • Recreation, Entertainment, and Shopping – performing arts, museums, sporting events, casinos, other visitor attractions, souvenirs and other retail purchases
  • Accommodations – hotels, motels, resorts, guest houses, RV parks, campgrounds
  • Food Services – quick and full service eating establishments, coffee shops, bars
  • Transportation – air, ground, and water travel; car rental; fuel; parking
Posted by: AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 16 2016
Six Trends to Keep an Eye Out for in Logistics and Transportation Management

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

2016 will be a defining year for the logistics industry, and transportation management practices must adapt to these changes. Some of these transportation management trends reflect real worries for the logistics industry. However, logistics providers and shippers are starting to understand how to combat each of these problems best through the application of transportation management technologies. But, first, so we are all on the same page, let’s define transportation and logistics management and how they compare. Then, we will discuss the top trends we see in transportation and logistics for 2016.

What is Transportation and Logistics Management?
According to Wikipedia, transportation is defined as the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is important since it enables trade between people, which in turn establishes civilizations.

I find it an interesting point that transportation is an enabler of civilization, but this makes sense, as it enables the ability to trade and communicate.

Posted by: AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 16 2016
U.S. Wind Poised to Reach New Heights in 2016 and Beyond

By Tom Kiernan, CEO AWEA

Falling costs, favorable long-term policy certainty and a diverse group of customers are creating a watershed moment for U.S. wind energy. Wind is rapidly becoming America’s fastest-growing source of electricity, acting as a leading carbon-cutting solution for our nation’s power grid.

The five-year extension in December of the renewable energy Production Tax Credit and alternative Investment Tax Credit will allow American wind power to continue its recent record of success. The incentives have spurred technological advances and improved domestic manufacturing, so wind-generated electricity now costs two-thirds less than it did  just six years ago. The renewal of the tax credits means U.S. wind now has a business environment primed for expansion through the 2020s, when the new Clean Power Plan will kick in and require further carbon cutting, for which wind is the low-cost solution.

Posted by: AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2016
Understanding the Aerospace Industry Workforce: How Communities Can Attract This Industry Through Smart and Strategic Workforce Practices

By Frank Spano, Managing Director; Bianca Holtier Coury, Project Purchasing Agent; and Susan Riffle, Commuications Specialist of The Austin Company

There is an interesting and dynamic shift occurring within the aerospace industry as it relates to integrating the workforce and communities at the local level. By way of innovative techniques, along with suitable grants, assistance and training programs, the atmosphere is ripe for launching a successful campaign to support the expanding needs of a dramatically growing vertical marketplace. Boost local economic development by tending to the workforce needs of the multi-faceted aerospace industry.
Assessing the challenges that exist today has led to identifying opportunities that will positively influence communities and aerospace companies. Through a combination of educational institutions, workforce development and talent-recruiting efforts, the results can have lasting affects socially and economically.  

Posted by: AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2016
Automotive Industry In Overdrive

By Dawn Baetsen, president of D.E. Baetsen & Associates LLC

The automotive industry is in a revolution that will change the traditional business model and industry structure as we know it. Despite global economic unrest, low oil prices, and stock market contraction, the automotive market is speeding forward, designing and producing cars that appeal to the masses, which are safer and increasingly safer for the environment. This movement is not without flaws as tensions intensified between automakers and government with unprecedented recalls and the fallout of “dieselgate.”

The automotive industry enjoyed a 6th straight year of growth in 2015, despite unruly economies and governmental stress. The major markets of North America, Asia/China and Western Europe fueled 2015 global sales growth for light trucks and cars. Scotiabank reports purchases in North America rose above 20 million units. The United States auto industry alone accounted for a sales record in excess of 17.4 million units contributing to the longest streak of annual gains since the 1920s and demonstrating an impressive come back. The Asian markets posted sales in excess of 33 million with China, the world’s largest automotive market posting sales of 19.75 units. Western Europe posted 5.6 percent growth in sales predominantly from Germany. India also saw an increase in sales by over six percent. Two of the BRIC markets, Russia and Brazil, experienced weakening economies resulting in declining sales. Russia in particular experienced nearly a 40 percent decline in sales. Brazil also had a decline in sales which is expected to persist into 2016. 

Posted by: AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2016
ICSC's Tom McGee: The Evolution of Retail Real Estate

By Thomas McGee, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Shopping Centers

The U.S. shopping center industry is at its strongest in years, due in part to an improving economic picture, especially as it pertains to consumer spending possibilities. This is seen through robust growth within the industry, which saw year-over-year indicators reach historically-strong growth rates by the end of 2015.

This past year saw an improved job market, rising consumer confidence, and healthy fundamentals. The U.S. National Home Price Index has also seen a nice uptick, gas prices have remained low for a sustained period of time, and wage growth is slowly increasing—leaving consumers with more discretionary income to spend.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) reported strong property data results for year-end 2015. Metrics across the board increased nicely:

Posted by: AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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