|School start & school week research in the news
Dr. Elton Mykerezi's report on the impact of the school year start on family leisure travel continues to garner significant attention nationally and locally. Mykerezi, an assistant professor in Applied Economics, found 1) family trips of two or more nights away from home decreased by 50 percent in August or September when school starts were moved to before Labor Day and 2) family overnight travel throughout the season-from May through September-decreased by 30 percent when school starts were moved to before Labor Day. Find the report details here.
Last summer you read our report on the four-day school week. In that study, Dr. Mykerezi found two changes to travel behavior as a result of the school week switch: 1) the four-day school schedule caused sizable increases in "day trips" - trips that are at least 50 miles away from home but require no overnight stay, and 2) parents reported significantly fewer trips of five days or more. More details of this groundbreaking study are found in the full report.
Stay tuned! We are considering the impact of a year-round school calendar on leisure travel.
Talking tourism assessments, statewide!
This spring the Tourism Center will embark on an 18-month statewide project to examine sustainable community tourism development. In partnership with the Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and collaborating with Extension's Center for Community Vitality Community Economics educators, the Tourism Center will engage communities in assessing their tourism assets and helping them develop action plans to harness new opportunities for tourism in their community and region.
Utilizing the Tourism Center's Tourism Assessment Program, the Community Tourism Development manual and a modified First Impressions program from the University of Wisconsin Extension, communities gain three perspectives of their tourism assets: those from 1) community residents, 2) visitors, and 3) tourism experts.
Certificate in Festival & Event Management: Online & energized
Depending on your location, you may be in the heart of your festivals and events or planning for a forthcoming season. Regardless, you'll be interested in our online Certificate in Festival & Event Management training program and online timely topics, too.
Already taken the program? Perhaps you'll want to join us for one of our 'Timely topics' which focus on Multi-cultural Customer Service or Social Media and Events. Customer Service is offered March 25-29. Register by March 16, 2013 to receive the $99 rate (that's $50 off the regular registration rate). Events & Social Media will be offered, April 1-5. Register by March 23, 2013 to receive the reduced $99 registration rate.
Can't make the program this winter? Don't worry, we'll be offering the class September through November in 2013 with a timely topic on Economic Impact of Festivals & Events. Registration opens in June.
Do you need to know more about your event attendees? Find our consumer research on festival and event attendees on the events research page.
Considering an energy efficiency or renewable energy project for your business? This funding could help
The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) are a partnership, that includes the U of MN, designed to connect people with resources to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. An exciting funding opportunity for rural small businesses across the State exists: The USDA Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants. These grants can pay for up to 25% of an eligible project's cost. Geared towards businesses and farms located in populations of 50,000 or less, these grants can help make your energy efficiency or renewable energy project possible.
"If you are a restaurant owner looking to upgrade your lighting or refrigeration system, this is funding you should look into," says Joel Haskard, Co-Director of the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) program. "Similarly, if you are thinking about installing solar at your resort or lodge, this is a great opportunity."
For more information, please visit this site or contact Joel Haskard at 612-625-8759, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Air travel: A historical context
Dr. Bill Gartner shares that if you have flown recently or reviewed ticket prices, most likely you have been surprised by ticket costs and reduced options. That is because a new airline operations model has emerged and, to understand the present situation we have to travel back in time to 1938.
In order to develop a competitive airline industry, the US Congress passed regulatory legislation that set up the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) investing in it the power to set fares and determine which airline gets which route(s). This action allowed other airlines to develop and enter the market.
Fast forward to 1978 which saw the US Congress pass the Cannon, Kennedy, Pearson Act which phased out the CAB and allowed airlines to compete on prices and route selections. The intent of the 1978 Act was the same as the 1938 Act: to create a competitive airline industry. One tried to do it with regulation and the other with de-regulation. The 1978 Act ushered in the golden age for consumers with low prices and numerous route options as the airlines struggled to deal with de-regulation. It also saw the emergence of low cost carriers that were generally non-union shops with a distinct cost advantage based on lower wages. The legacy carriers worked to reduce wage rates through bankruptcy and restructuring.
Airlines also began to reduce the number of airplanes they owned or had under contract. Reduced capacity, reduced competition through alliances and mergers, lower labor costs as a percentage of total operating cost and near monopoly control of major gateway airports have made airlines profitable again. But the golden age of the consumer when it comes to airline travel is gone--probably forever. According to Gartner, higher prices, reduced flight options, and full airplanes are here to stay.