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Tourism—Government funds study of tourism’s economic impact



Business Travelers Say Past Experience Carries Weight in Choosing Hotels

The industry that’s third-largest in San Diego is about to get some more attention on a national level.

According to the Tourism Industries Association, the U.S. Government is giving the Department of Commerce $200,000 to help it more accurately track the economic impact of travel and tourism.

“Tourism’s contributions to American prosperity have not been fully appreciated due to a lack of comprehensive data and statistics,” said Leslie Doggett, deputy assistant secretary for tourism industries at the commerce department.

“This funding will help jump-start the federal government’s ability to gauge and assist the services sector, which has emerged in the last decade as a dominant force in the U.S. economy.”

The data is expected to allow communities, visitor bureaus and entrepreneurs to better promote economic growth and investment in tourism-related projects.

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Survey Says: When it comes to business travelers’ selection of a hotel, previous experience with a hotel is a determining factor, according to a survey done by two East Coast research and marketing firms.

The survey of 1,207 business travellers conducted by Yesawich Pepperdine & Brown/Yankelovich Partners National Business Traveler Monitor also showed the majority said “location” ranks second to “previous experience.”

Room rate was also cited by 75 percent of the respondents. The firms were surprised to find that only 31 percent of them said frequent guest points are a key influence.

Checking In: Multi-media company Jentec Interactive, Inc. has become a corporate gold medallion member at the San Diego Hall of Champions. Jentec is also the corporate sponsor of a new exhibit at the sports museum, an exhibit on the career of Carlsbad-based skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. The Napa Valley Grille has a new chef, Charles Hochman. The Marine Room recently received an award from the Distinguished Restaurants of North America, the La Jolla restaurant’s 10th consecutive year. Julie Fry recently joined the San Diego Performing Arts League as the director of Arts & Business Programs.

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Spices Of Life: The Mingei International Museum’s new exhibit, “Village India , Art of Compassion and Devotion,” is expected to draw 40,000 visitors, according to a spokeswoman.

The exhibit, which will run through May of this year, features textiles, terra cottas and bronzes, adornments, toys, kites and other objects of daily use, ritual and ceremony.

The deadline for the next tourism & hospitality column is Jan. 25. Rodrigues can be reached at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 107, or via e-mail at trodrigues@sdbj.com.

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