Moments of Clarity is proud to bring you data and insights to help you leverage your place-based assets. Your residents, businesses, and visitors will benefit.

Tools and Techniques

30 minute map Summer travel often translates into crowded roads. While increased visitor activity in a destination is  welcomed, the seasonality of travel also means destination leaders need to be proactive to help  mitigate traffic stress points within their community. GIS technology is one tool that tourism leaders can use to inform visitors (and residents) of typical congestion times and suggest alternate routes or attractions to visit.

GIS technology facilitates spatial data analysis and visualization, using data on transportation networks and travel durations. It can estimate travel time between specific attractions or areas within a destination based on existing road networks, observed traffic patterns, public transportation schedules, and other place factors.

To help clients understand traffic conditions during various times of year, Clarity of Place uses maps produced by our partner FirmoGraphs, a business intelligence and data science firm. As the example of conditions around Dulles International Airport shows, travel times to points away from the airport are slightly better in January than in May.

When destination leaders can visualize and share travel times and transportation options, they can improve the visitor experience and resident quality of life. They can also give municipal leaders valuable input on transportation network investments that would raise their destination's competitiveness. 

Industry Insights

Through our data-driven approach, we monitor research, policies, or investments that affect destinations and the tourism industry and share insights with you. That way, you know data, best practices, and funding initiatives available to help strengthen your destination's competitiveness.  

SSTI JOLTS graphA Different Perspective on Workforce Supply Strains

Why It Matters: Understanding long-term trends places current workforce supply strains in perspective.

Summary: For another perspective of how the pandemic impacted the hospitality workforce, consider a recent analysis by the nonprofit research association SSTI. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)—a program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics—shows the levels of job openings, hires, and separations over time. Historically, the leisure and hospitality industry has had a higher percentage of openings than most other industries. 

Current data reflects substantially increased demand for leisure and hospitality workers. Since April 2021, the percentage of job openings in this industry has been greater than in any other industry. 

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NOAA Funding to Protect Coastal Communities

Why It Matters: As coastal destinations are often among the key stewards of beach and marine assets, increased funding to support coastal infrastructure improvements and data to monitor weather will enhance their ability to do so.

Summary: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced plans to invest $2.6 billion to restore marine resources, invest in critical infrastructure to help coastal communities combat climate change, and improve weather and climate data and services. Within the funding, $390 million is set aside for Tribal priorities to benefit Tribal communities along coasts and the Great Lakes.

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Funding Opportunities to Increase Charging Stations in Rural Communities

Charging StationWhy It Matters: The increased availability of public charging stations could open rural areas to a new market, owners of electric vehicles.

Summary: The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) recently announced plans to invest $2.5 billion to improve the country’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. One emphasis of the program will be to build electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, especially in rural communities and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Publicly accessible Direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations have become more available over time; however, coverage in several areas of the country remains sparse. (See the Department of Energy's charging station finder to explore the map.) Rural communities are in the greatest need of fast charging options and stand to benefit most from the FHA's new investments.

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What We're Reading

Learn about the future of sustainable travel, how Hawaii may manage visitor crowding, and the new traveler trends of sleep and film tourism.

New research on sentiment toward sustainable travel finds travelers needing to balance sustainability and rising costs, wishing for more sustainable options, and biking instead of driving during their trips.

Hawaii is considering a new visitor smart phone app that could track where visitors are going and offer real-time alternatives to busy locations.

From programs with sleep specialists to special teas and spa items, the latest trend is all about rest.

The Oregon film office and nonprofit Oregon Made Creative Foundation are tapping a tourism trend with the new Oregon Film Trail, with markers in places where movies have been filmed.

Meetings and Conferences

Check out these meetings and events that can help you better support your destination and its economic development. The Clarity of Place team is planning to attend the meetings marked with an asterisk.