Monday Report
Tourism Rankings November 17th 2008


ECONOMIC NOTES:

THIS WEEKS LEADS:


 

SCORECARD

International Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008

RankCountry Score
1Switzerland 5.63
2Austria 5.43
3Germany 5.41
4Australia 5.34
5Spain 5.30
6Great Britain5.28
7United States5.28
8Sweden5.27
9Canada5.26
10France5.23

Highlights of The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008

    Switzerland

    Is number one in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2008, followed by Austria and Germany, the same as in the TTCI 2007. Switzerland is rich in cultural and natural resources, and includes an impressive number of World Heritage cultural and natural sites for a country of its size. A large percentage of the country's land area is protected (12) and the natural environment is assessed as being among the most pristine in the world (10). This natural heritage is buttressed by a strong national focus on environmental sustainability: Switzerland is ranked second overall on this pillar, based on strong and well- enforced environmental legislation, with a particular focus on developing the T&T sector sustainably.

    As well as being endowed with features that make it an attractive leisure tourism destination, Switzerland is also an important business travel hub, with many international fairs and exhibitions held in the country each year. Staffing of the industry is also facilitated by excellent education and training (4), perhaps not surprising in a country with many of the best hotel management schools. Added to these strengths is Switzerland's excellent transport infrastructure (5), with top-quality roads and railroads and an excellent domestic transport network. Also well assessed is the tourism infrastructure (7), with readily available hotel rooms and ATMs for cash withdrawals. Such high- quality infrastructure makes a tourist's stay in the country easy and comfortable, an experience that is reinforced by the high level of general safety and security (6).

    Austria

    Ranks 2nd in the TTCI 2008, attributable to its rich cultural resources, with eight World Heritage cultural sites, and many fairs and exhibitions catering to business travellers. The natural environment is also highly valued, along with the country's focus on environmental sustainability. In addition, Austrians are perceived as extremely open and welcoming to foreign travellers (3). Austria's tourism infrastructure is assessed as second to none, with abundant car rental facilities, hotel accommodations and ATMs. Other strengths include Austria's assessment as one of the safest countries in the world (3) and its excellent health and hygiene levels (4).

    Germany

    Ranking 3rd, is also characterized by abundant cultural resources: the country ranks 3rd with 31 World Heritage cultural sites, and 2nd for the number of international fairs and exhibitions held in the country. Germany's infrastructure is among the best in the world (3) for the quality of its ground transport infrastructure and for its air transport infrastructure (7). In addition, Germany gets better marks than Switzerland and Austria for policy rules and regulations affecting the T&T industry: it ranks 6th in this area, with policies encouraging foreign investment and open bilateral Air Service Agreements.

    Spain and France

    Also place among the top 10, with Spain in 5th and France in 10th position. Both countries benefit from their rich cultural resources, ranked 2nd and 4th worldwide, respectively, for their number of World Heritage cultural sites. Both have built up excellent infrastructure: France's ground and air transport infrastructure are among the best in the world, and Spain's tourism infrastructure is ranked number one internationally. The Index shows that France's policy rules and regulations are more conducive to developing the sector than Spain's, while Spain's labour market makes finding qualified labour easier there than in France, which is ranked a low 86th in this pillar.

    The United States

    Ranks 7th. The country is number one for overall business environment and infrastructure. It ranks 2nd for the country's human, cultural and natural resources. In particular, the United States has an excellent air transport infrastructure (2) and high-quality tourism and ICT infrastructure. Its natural resources are ranked 2nd worldwide, with many protected areas and many World Heritage natural sites, although a perception exists that the environment is not being sufficiently protected (100 for environmental sustainability). Safety and security (119) is also of concern; as well as some concerns about safety from crime, the country has one of the highest rates of road traffic incidents of all the countries covered.

    Italy

    Despite being endowed with the most World Heritage cultural sites in the world, ranks a low 28th in the TTCI 2008 ranking. As well as its cultural richness, Italy's strengths lie in areas such as the health and hygiene of the country (19) and its excellent tourism infrastructure (4). However, it faces a number of challenges that bring its overall rating down. These include policy rules and regulations, where Italy ranks 57th because of its very strong foreign ownership restrictions (102) and rules governing FDI (109). Further, the government is not seen as prioritizing the sector (97). In addition, ground transport.

    How would Utah score using the same criteria?

    Source: World Economic Forum, 2008


Corporate Giving Expected to Remain Flat in 2009

    Spending by some of the largest corporate foundations is likely to be flat next year as foundations' parent companies retrench in the face of a global financial crisis, Reuters reports.

    The Bank of America, General Electric, and Wells Fargo foundations the second, fifth, and ninth largest corporate philanthropies in the country, according to the Foundation Center -have indicated that their 2009 giving will be flat, even though requests for support are up.

    "We're getting about 20 percent more requests," said Wells Fargo spokesperson Melissa Murray. "We have been focused on providing more grants [in smaller amounts] to meet the large volume of requests."

    Not all corporate foundations and giving programs are scaling back, however. The Wal-Mart and ExxonMobil foundations ranked number three and number seven by the Foundation Center both say their parent corporations are faring well despite the financial crisis and offered positive outlooks for their charitable giving in 2009.

    According to Wal-Mart spokesperson Amy Wyatt- Moore, the company's foundation will refocus its attention on efforts that support those hardest hit by the economic crisis. "The Wal-Mart Foundation did increase charitable giving this year and plans to increase charitable giving again in 2009," said Wyatt- Moore. "In these difficult times, the work that we do to support the communities we serve is more important than ever."

    http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/15015766/ story

    Source: Foundation Center, 11/08


Grants

    Nonprofit Public Relations Grant Application

  • Neotrope ( http://www.neotrope.com/ ), a brand identity, PR, and marketing firm, has extended its 2009 grant application deadline from November 12, 2008, to December 7, 2008. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the company will donate public relations and newswire services worth $25,000 to smaller nonprofit and charitable organizations. Neotrope has provided discounted or free services to various nonprofits for more than twenty years.
  • Nonprofit organizations may apply for the grant through December 7, 2008 (extended from November 12, 2008). Organizations will be selected based on various factors related to "doing good," with the amount donated to each selected nonprofit varying. Half of the grants will be provided to California-based nonprofits, which will receive additional promotional assistance through California Newswire. In addition, all 501(c)(3) organizations automatically qualify for a 20 percent service discount.
  • The 2009 Neotrope PR grant application form is available at the Send2Press Web site.
  • RFP Link: http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/15015825/sen d2press
  • For additional RFPs in Philanthropy and Voluntarism, visit: http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/cat_philanthropy.jht ml

Greetings!
  • ECONOMIC NOTES:
    • Treasury Budget
    • The unified budget deficit for October was $237 billion, larger than the CBO's estimate of $232 billion. October was the first month of fiscal 2009. This was more than three times the budget deficit in October 2007. Purchases of stock in banks as part of the TARP program greatly added to spending in October.
    • International Trade (FT900)
    • The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $56.5 billion in September. The consensus had expected a similar narrowing, to $57 billion. This marks the second straight month of declining gross exports and gross imports.
    • Import and Export Prices
    • Import prices fell a larger than expected 4.7% in October. This was the third consecutive month-to- month decline and the largest on record. Once again, energy prices determined the size of the decline in import prices. Prices of imported petroleum fell 16.7% over the month. The credit crisis and abrupt slowdown in the global economy have frozen inflation. With import prices falling, the Federal Open Market Committee can lower interest rates below 1%.
    • Employment Situation
    • As of the last day of September, there were 3.3 million job openings in the U.S., equaling a 2.3% job openings rate. This was down 10 basis points from the August openings rate. The hires rate rose from 3% in August to 3.2% in September and the separations rate was down to 3% from 3.2% in the prior month. The increase in the hires rate was not significant in any individual region or industry but rather represented small increases across a handful of industries.
    • Jobless Claims
    • Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 32,000 to 516,000 for the week ending November 8. This was well above expectations. This could be an early indication that labor market slack is beginning to grow more quickly. Movements in the coming weeks will be important to watch to see if this gain is sustained.
    • Business Inventories (MTIS)
    • Total business inventories decreased 0.2% in September, slightly below expectations for a milder decline. Retail inventories were the only new data in this report, increasing 0.2% despite a 0.3% decline in retail auto inventories. The total I/S ratio increased to 1.29.
    • MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
    • In the week ending November 7, the MBA composite market index reversed course and climbed to 425 in a week that also saw a decline in FRM and ARM contract rates. The market index increased 11.9%, underlined by increases in both the refinance and the purchase indices. The refinance index rose 16.1%. The purchase index increased 9%. The decline in interest rates propelled refinance applications; this increase has been reflected in the jump in the market index.
    • Retail Sales (MARTS)
    • Total retail sales fell 2.8% in October, somewhat more than expected, following a revised 1.3% decline in September (originally -1.2%) due to tumbling gas station sales and widespread weakness elsewhere. Sales excluding autos fell 2.2% after falling 0.5% in September (originally -0.6). Drug stores and restaurants were the only major segments to post gains. Core sales fell 0.5%, slightly less than September's 0.6% decline.
    • Chain Store Sales
    • Chain store sales fell 1.0% in the week ending November 8, giving back most of the gains of the previous two weeks. Year-over-year growth fell to 0.4%, the weakest since early April. Despite the weak results, the ICSC reported improved customer traffic, possibly a result of lower gasoline prices.
    • Oil and Gas Inventories
    • Crude oil inventories were unchanged during the week ending November 7, according to the Energy Information Administration, falling short of expectations of a 1.0 million barrel build. Gasoline inventories rose by 2.0 million barrels, surpassing expectations that they would remain unchanged. Distillate supplies rose modestly by 0.6 million barrels. Refinery operating capacity fell to 84.6% from 85.3%. Total domestic petroleum demand fell from the prior week. This report should not significantly affect oil prices.
    • Natural Gas Storage Report
    • Working gas in underground storage increased by 62 billion cubic feet during the week ending November 7. This was well above consensus expectations of a build of 45 billion cubic feet.

  • THIS WEEKS LEADS:
    • Ethan Allen
    • Ethan Allen Global, Inc. trades as Ethan Allen at 300 locations nationwide and internationally.
    • The home furnishings stores, offering upscale furniture and accessories, occupy spaces of 8,000 sq.ft. to 24,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations along with lifestyle and specialty centers.
    • Growth opportunities are sought nationwide during the coming 18 months.
    • Typical leases run 10 years with options.
    • Preferred cotenants include Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom and high-end retailers.
    • Preferred trade area demographics include a population of 75,000 earning $75,000 as the average household income.
    • For more information, contact
      • Ann Zaccaria,
      • Ethan Allen Global, Inc.,
      • Ethan Allen Drive,
      • Danbury, CT 06811;
      • Web site: www.ethanallen.com.
    • Pier 1
    • Pier 1 Imports operates 1,100 locations nationwide and throughout Canada.
    • The home furnishings stores, offering furniture, home décor items, rugs, pillows, gifts, dining accessories and candles, occupy spaces of 9,000 sq.ft. to 10,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations, power centers, pad sites and endcaps.
    • Growth opportunities are sought throughout the existing markets during the coming 18 months.
    • Typical leases run 10 years with two, five- year options.
    • Preferred cotenants include Linens N Things, Borders, Old Navy and Target.
    • Preferred demographics include a population of 100,000 within 15 miles earning $60,000 as the average household income.
    • For more information, contact
      • Olivia Walker,
      • Pier 1 Imports,
      • 100 Pier 1 Place, Suite 1,
      • Ft. Worth, TX 76102-2600;
      • Web site: www.pier1.com.

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  • The Election is over - Time to get back to work!

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