Moments of Clarity: March 2023By Clarity of Place Staff
This month in Moments of Clarity, learn how our data storytelling can help you visualize your destination's competitiveness. Discover how two states are hoping to support small communities and enhance destination assets. See what we're reading and what meetings and conferences you should attend.
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
We've teamed up with FirmoGraphs, a business intelligence and data science firm, to help you understand how competitive your destination is.
By tapping the power of Qlik Sense, a data analytics platform, we can aggregate multiple data sets that:
- Tell us about your destination and its assets (and your competitors’) and
- Test how those assets affect each destination's competitiveness.
With Qlik's data visualizations, we can show you information in an easy-to-understand way. We can compare destinations and their visitor products, give you our recommendations, and answer your questions using Qlik’s data storytelling.
For example, the dataset snippet below shows the number of attractions and hospitality infrastructure elements (e.g., amusement parks, museums, campgrounds, etc.) near all the airports in the United States. Using data visualization such as this helps us understand where airport assets are located, their size and capacity, and any planned capital improvements.
FirmoGraphs is collecting place-based data from over 60 national datasets to give you access to a wealth of information from Federal agencies, state agencies, and associations and nonprofits.
Using FirmoGraphs’ extensive database, we layer on data related to your destination’s product and visitor infrastructure to show the totality of your destination’s product. We also identify areas where the visitor economy aligns with broader local and regional economic development goals. Using this data, you can make informed decisions about your next steps.
Through our data-driven approach, we monitor policies or investments in place-based assets and share insights with you. That way, you know what Federal or State-level initiatives may be available to help strengthen your destination's competitiveness. This "listening" also allows us to track what product investments are being made. Here are two examples of recent drivers:
WV May Create Loan Program to Encourage Trails on Army Corps of Engineering Land
Why It Matters: The bill would encourage development or expansion of tourism projects such as trails on U.S. Army Corps of Engineering land, where tourism projects are difficult to fund. Your state could pursue this approach.
Summary: Many West Virginia State Parks, trail systems, and resorts are constructed on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land. Because the properties on the land have no collateral for loans, expanding tourism and development projects in these areas is unattractive and financially difficult. Through House Bill 3370, the state will guarantee a loan of up to $5 million from the West Virginia Department of Economic Development to further develop properties to encourage economic development and tourism.
Only entities that have an existing private or public partnership with the state on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, on West Virginia State Parks and Resorts, and on hybrid tourism properties (such as trails) can use the loans. The state will co-sign on loans between public and private partnerships and will only pay if a party defaults.
Maine May Establish a Small Communities Tourism Fund
Why It Matters: The bill would establish a fund for small communities to promote tourism and events and could be a nationwide model.
Summary: In Maine, legislators are considering a bill to create the Small Communities Tourism Fund, which would be used to promote tourism and support events in small communities. Funds would come from appropriations, allocations, and contributions from private and public sources. The state’s Office of Tourism would establish rules for how funds could be used.
What We're Reading
Our team has handpicked these articles as ones that interested us and may be of help to you,
- Travel Sentiment Survey Finds 93% Planning Trips in Next 6 Months
A research partnership that tracks American traveler sentiment during the pandemic recently found that consumers still demand travel despite inflation, increasing interest rates, and economic uncertainty.
- New: Weak Travel Trade Balance Points to Urgent Need for Federal Action
New data shows that the United States travel trade surplus has fallen substantially in the past 10 years, prompting calls for the federal government to boost travel and travel exports to benefit the nation's economy.
- US Cities Are Falling out of Love with the Parking Lot
Communities are loosening requirements for large parking lots with new development, driving excitement and investments in downtown areas.
- Revive Tourism? An Answer from One Japanese Village
See how a United Nations World Tourism Organization "Best Tourism Village" is working to sustain the community through tourism, while not disturbing the village's character.
- Retiring Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley in the Past, Present and Future of Local Tourism
Virginia Haley has been an advisor and friend to many destination leaders and to Clarity of Place. She shares how she has watched hotel inventory, trails and natural assets, and arts grow in the last 30 years.
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.
Meetings in the First Half of 2023
- Destinations International CEO Summit - Apr. 3 - 5, 2023*
- North Dakota Travel Industry Conference - Apr. 3 - 5, 2023
- Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism - Apr. 3 - 5, 2023
- Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism - Apr. 10 - 12, 2023
- Travel Nevada Rural Round-up - Apr. 11 - 13, 2023*
- US Travel Association Destination Capitol Hill - Apr. 18 - 19, 2023
- TTA Texas Travel Expo - Apr. 19 - 20, 2023
- New York State Tourism Conference - Apr. 19 - 21, 2023
- Digital Travel Connect - Apr. 19 - 21, 2023
- Montana Governor's Conference on Tourism - Apr. 23 - 25, 2023
- Simpleview Summit - Apr. 23 - 26, 2023*
- Vermont Tourism Summit - Apr. 26 - 27, 2023
- U.S. Travel Association's IPW - May 20 - 24, 2023
- City Nation Place Americas - June 7 - 8, 2023