Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Travel Data
RIU HOTELS & RESORTS RANKS HIGH IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Annual Market Metrix Hospitality Index Report Shows Travelers Happy wit
Tampa Bay & Company hosted its annual research presentation recently to unveil the 2008 Hillsborough County Visitor Study. Held at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), the presentation consisted of tourism research including the number of visitors to Hillsborough County, the economic and employment impacts of the Visitor Industry, visitor travel origins, length of stay, spending habits and more.

Presentations were given by Dr. Mark Bonn, Bonn Marketing Research Group, Inc., who discussed the results of the 2008 Visitor Impact Study, and Gregg Laskoski, AAA Auto Club South managing director of public & government relations, who discussed the future travel forecast and what the tourism industry can expect in the coming months.

In 2008, Hillsborough County welcomed 16.1 million visitors who spent $2.73 billion in the area. Additionally, nearly 54,700 jobs were provided that produced $1.1 billion in wages. Much more information, including the 2008 Research Synopsis, can be found online by logging on to

Tampa Bay & Company leads the effort of "Economic Development Through Tourism" in Hillsborough County. Comprised of nearly 700 members, the mission of Tampa Bay & Company is to create vibrant growth for the Tampa Bay area by promoting, developing and expanding a united visitor industry.

Business Leader Survey: Companies that Maintain Travel Spending Could Gain Competitive Advantage

A new survey of business leaders finds that while corporate travel budgets are often the first target of cost-cutting measures, a majority believe that companies that increase travel budgets during an economic downturn will be better positioned to build competitive advantage.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of businesses surveyed say that increasing travel while others are cutting back creates an opportunity to build market share and new customer relationships. Half (53%) also believe that companies that reduce their business travel will give an advantage to competitors who maintain their travel commitment.

The findings illustrate the conflict within businesses that are under pressure to quickly identify cost reductions in the economic downturn. When making these reductions, businesses may sacrifice longer-term strategic and competitive advantage.

"It's a classic trade off between short term cost-reductions and long term value," said Kellogg Business School Professor Daniel Diermeier, a Distinguished Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice. "During times like these, many companies will go too far, and actually cut back on the activities that would best position them to compete in the future."

The survey of business executives at companies with more than $50 million in annual sales found that:

  • 82 percent of companies surveyed believe that business travel is important to achieving their business results;
  • 81 percent believe that more client contact is necessary in a slow economy;
  • A strong majority (59 percent) strongly agree that in-person contact grows their business; and
  • 72 percent of businesses believe that increasing travel while others are cutting back creates an opportunity to build market share and new customer relationships.
Meet Brilliantly