ConsultEcon Management & Economic Insight

The tourism sector is often one of the most important parts of national, state and city economies. Tourism encompasses attractions that entertain visitors; restaurants, hotels and retail operators that provide services to the visitor: and transportation that moves a visitor to and thru a destination. ConsultEcon staff work on all aspects of tourism, providing services focused on market support, development strategies, feasibility and implementation.


Tourism Development

Puerto Rico Tourism:  San Juan, Puerto Rico
Prepared a tourism development strategy for Puerto Rico focusing on nature-based attractions and eco tourism. This included wilderness hiking, caving and other activities beyond Puerto Rico’s traditional coastal tourism focus.

Winter Tourism Development Strategy:  Anchorage, Alaska
Prepared a strategy as part of a multi-disciplinary team to provide attractions, accommodations and tourism infrastructure for attracting more travelers during the winter to the rural area near Anchorage – particularly the Chugach Mountains area.  Our work included market evaluation, pro forma financial analysis of possible attractions and lodging facilities, and a plan for implementation.

Alabama Tourism Summit:  Alabama
The summit was an effort by the state-wide Convention and Visitors Bureaus to generate a plan and strategy for tourism development in the State.  A series of meetings with key statewide constituencies resulted in the first State-wide Summit on Tourism Development in Alabama.

Tourism Development Plan:  Seneca County, New York
For this rural county in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, we prepared a tourism development strategy that encompasses general strategies, marketing, tourism infrastructure and evaluation of individual attractions projects.  As part of this work, we accomplished preliminary feasibility evaluations for a conference/resort development, a sports hall of fame, a family entertainment center, and an historic urban villages program.

Tourism Strategy:  Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Conducted a comprehensive tourism development strategy for Pittsfield.  We evaluated the current tourism infrastructure including accommodations, transportation access, attractions and events.  In addition, we evaluated the management mechanisms for the delivery of services to visitors.  We worked with the City of Pittsfield officials, and tourist businesses and the Berkshire Hills Conference/Visitors Bureau.

Tourism Infrastructure Evaluation:  Appleton, Wisconsin
Reviewed the potential for various kinds of visitor attractions to be developed in the Fox River communities in Wisconsin.  Through a process of community meetings and market evaluations, a set of preferred development opportunities were identified.  These were developed for the CVB as part of an effort to use a portion of their hotel tax to underwrite new tourism infrastructure.

Tourism Tracking Study:  Lee County, Florida
Working with a primary research firm on a visitor tracking study for the Ft. Myers area, we provided quarterly projections of tourism visits to the County.  The purpose of this work is to inform strategies to enhance the County’s tourism economy.

Erie/Niagara Heritage Tourism Plan:  Buffalo, New York
Prepared a strategy to increase heritage-based tourism to the Buffalo/Niagara area, as part of a multidisciplinary team.  As an important input to the funding and planning process, an evaluation of the new visitor spending that would occur due to the implementation of the plan was prepared.  Also evaluated were the economic and fiscal benefits that would accrue to the region and the state.

Hudson River Valley Tourism Development:  New York
Conducted a comprehensive tourism market and development study of the Hudson River Valley in New York for the Hudson River Greenway Conservancy.  The study area encompassed a ten-county area.  The study identified opportunities for further tourism development by building upon the existing strengths of the Valley while preserving the historic, cultural and natural qualities that serve to distinguish the Hudson River Valley.  This plan included an overview of economic and demographic development opportunities; assessment of the impacts of further tourism development in the Valley; and the development of tourism promotion and marketing strategies.

Urban Tourism/Attractions Strategy: 
Providence, Rhode Island
Working with a diverse group of public and private sector stakeholders, evaluated a range of attractions that could be developed in downtown Providence.  Uses included both non-profit and for-profit attractions and venues.

Niagara Parks Master Plan: 
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Provided an analysis of current market and operating conditions of Niagara Parks, which operates the Canadian side of world-famous Niagara Falls, with a focus on Queen Victoria Park.  It reviewed the experience of comparable attractions in North America and applied it to Niagara Falls.  An important aspect of this analysis was to put into context the strategic issues facing Niagara Parks as it planned for upcoming years in a Master Plan process.  Recommendations on new attraction elements, associated retail and food service were included.  A business plan and warranted investment strategy were central to a major investment program.