Benefits of International Tourism on Colorado Business

Vail Valley may not exactly be on the hot-list of international tourists and is thus contributing only in small measures to the state’s economy, but over the next couple of years this scene is bound to change not just in Vail Valley but in the whole of Colorado.

A panel discussion was held on Thursday during the annual Vail Valley Business Forum, which is a part of Vail Valley Partnership. All participants present voiced their opinion on how important international tourism is, they opined that if Denver International Airport was to have more new flights it could help bring even more tourists and visitors into the region.

Earlier in the year in the month of May, United Airlines announced their plans to launch nonstop service on Denver – Tokyo sector from next year. Many view this move as a good start to boost business in Denver. Icelandair has plans to launch nonstop service starting this year on the Denver – Reykjavik, Iceland sector. With these new flights service would be opened up to various European cities.

CEO and President, Visit Denver, the convention and visitor bureau for Denver, Richard Scharf said that he believed that international tourism was a major contributor (“saved our bacon” as he put it) last year and that is why they would prefer being aligned in Vail with the business society. He also added that a major portion of his organization’s group business came from outside US and this is what they were trying to attract. He went on to say that the potential for international growth was huge and so more flights could be expected in the near future.

CEO of a transportation consultation company CRL Associates, Maria Garcia Berry also a panel member referred to the Reykjavik and Tokyo flights and said that Denver International Airport could serve as a major intermountain west hub. She added that the Tokyo flights were very important and could not be afforded to fail.

Scharf said that Visit Denver already had links with Colorado Ski Country USA and Vail Resorts to offer groups visiting Denver extended-visit packages. He added that more such alliances needed to be formed.

He said that they need to determine how to build a brand as a state.

Building Colorado as a brand needed to go beyond tourism and this would be very important as only then can more businesses be convinced to relocate to the state.

Richard Wobbekind said that tourism played an important role in building up the economy of the state however it does not create jobs that attract high salaries. Richard Wobbekind is the Senior Associate Dean – Associate Programs and Executive Director – Business Research Division at Boulder’s University of Colorado. He said that the high-paying jobs were essential as Vail Valley was a relatively expensive place and only such jobs could help build the economies. Such jobs could be created through industries like health and wellness.

And these high-salaried jobs generally start when tourists start frequenting the place.

According to Scharf 80 percent of the relocated businesses to Colorado was because someone linked to those companies came to Colorado on vacation. He added that this was one reason why Colorado needed continued marketing efforts to advertise it.

However, he also said, it was important to try and attract those businesses into the Colorado state that other states may not be interested in. He said for instance his group was trying to attract the outdoor retailers’ association to hold their annual meeting in Colorado. He opined that it was necessary to follow up companies that had the same lifestyle as Colorado as it allows focusing on things that are inherent to the state and its people.

However to chase companies willing to relocate and also attract international visitors, the different regions of the state need to coordinate, cooperate and communicate with each other.

53 percent of the population in the state lived in only 7 counties in the Front Range said Garcia Berry. And people residing in these counties need help to understand how the economy in their home town could be improved by the state.

The program was wide-ranging and touched on topics ranging from transportation to real estate. Panel members felt that Interstate 70 needed improvement and some kind of transit system needed to be explored.

On completion of the session Chris Hanen, General Manager of Evergreen Lodge said the news he heard was encouraging. He said that there were numerous options available out there and there were a lot of things happening.

It’s Time to Give thanks and Walk for St. Jude

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is famous for its mission to provide the best care to children without ever asking for a dime in return from the children or their families. However, did you know that the Hospital is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that is completely devoted to and focused on children? For patients of St. Jude’s Cancer Center Programs, the Hospital also provides the new Cancer Prevention & Control Program which works to provide the long-term follow-up care that the hospital’s patients need after they have completed their treatment at the Cancer Center. Come out and help us support these important causes at the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. this coming November 17, 2012.

We welcome you to visit our website for more information and to register at  http://www.givethankswalk.org

Like us on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/StJudeWalkDenver

Follow us on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/StJudeWalkDenvr

China’s New Home Prices

The actions being taken by the Chinese government to strengthen the economy are now yielding the intended results. For the first time in 10 months the prices for new homes have increased in the country. This is according to data provided by SouFun Holdings, the biggest real estate website owner in the country. The easing on monetary policies by the Chinese government has been applauded as a step in the right direction. Home prices in the month of June increased by 0.1% from the previous month of May. This saw the pricing for houses increase to 8,688 yuan ($1,367) per square meter.

A survey conducted in 100 cities showed that Beijing had the biggest gains among the 10 biggest cities. According to the survey prices for homes went up by 2.3% from May. Shenzhen, China’s southern business hub was second with a rise of 0.8%.  China’s Vice Premier Li Keqiang, confirmed that controls by the government to prevent speculative home demand will continue. According to Xinhua News Agency the Vice Premier also called for the building of more affordable housing units in the country.

Although the government’s hand in the housing industry is still evident, it has also been instrumental in helping first time home buyers access funding. The government has helped to ease funding offered by lenders. The central bank’s cut on the benchmark one year lending rate in June was the first since the last cut done in 2008. The cut has influenced market sentiments. “Buyers are optimistic, they expect the government to be less stringent in smaller cities,” these were sentiments expressed by Jeffrey Gao, a property analyst based in Shanghai.

Mortgage providers in Beijing offered clients who were first time buyers mortgages at 15% discount. The discount was on the 6.8% benchmark rate. This discount was offered after the country’s central bank cut the borrowing costs. According to Wu Hao, a manager in Beijing’s second largest real estate broker, Bacic & 5i5j Group in the second half of 2011, buyers paid between 5% and 10% above the benchmark rate.

Some developers in the country have even called off discounts or raised prices after the increase in sales. Sales this year have increased, in the month of May the increase was by 19% to hitting the 375.7 billion yuan mark, based on information from the statistics bureau. The country’s largest developer, Evergrande Real Estate Group saw its sales volume hit a record 10.5 billion yuan in May.

Global Day Colorado 2012 Announced

2012 Global Business & Alliances Colorado Council is excited to announce “Global Day Colorado”.  Be sure to mark your calendars and look for coming news.

August 23, 2012
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Denver Metro Association of REALTORS®
4300 E Warren Ave
Denver, Colorado

GLOBAL DAY COLORADO Mission: To establish successful global business relationships for Colorado REALTORS® in these 3 areas

  • Tourism
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Agriculture

and create networking/business opportunities with our Sister Cities, Chambers, Consulates, World Trade Center and other international organizations as well to promote our dynamic “come to life” State of Colorado globally, a win-win-day for all!

Special Guest Speakers Include:

Zachary Benjamin
Business Development & Outreach Manager
National Association of REALTORS® Global Businesses & Alliances
Chicago, Illinois

Laura McLaughlin, Country Manager, US
Foreign Currency Exchange
Moneycorp, LLC., Orlando, Florida

Other guest speakers, experts in the Tourism, Sustainable Energy, and Agricultural areas, will be announced in the near future!

Check back for more information at www.globaldaycolorado.com

(“Come to life” a phrase used by the State of Colorado Tourism as referenced in the Denver Post, April 4, 2012)

2012 Global Business & Alliances Colorado Council: Inge Frerichs (Chair), Jennifer ElpersWell, Gretchen Faber, Howard Leino, Brian Kinkade, Deborah Lepercq, Franci Wunderlich, Aline Chambre, Anapaula Schock, Gayle Stallings

Asian Homeownership in U.S. Declines

The 13 million Asians living in the U.S. have historically tended to earn more and have less debt than other minority groups. A recent census report, however, shows that Asians suffered a greater drop in homeownership last year than whites, blacks and Hispanics. The 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) of the U.S. Census found that the overall U.S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest in six years—66.6 percent. The rate of home ownership for Asians fell even lower to 59.4 percent. This is a reversal after the housing boom years when minorities in the U.S. took advantage of easy access to financing to purchase homes.

The Asian population is largely concentrated in west and east coast states and Illinois, with about one-third of Asians living in California. The sharp drop in their home ownership in 2008 may be due in part to California’s plummeting home values and skyrocketing foreclosure rates. The rate of home ownership may drop even more in 2009, according to the Population Reference Bureau.

Recovery and Stabilization Evident in International Commercial Markets

Many of the world’s commercial real estate markets are showing some stabilization and recovery at the mid-point 2009, CB Richard Ellis reports. One notable exception is the United States where vacancy rates in the office, industrial and retail property markets continued to rise in the second quarter of 2009. Positive developments in international commercial markets included:

  • an uptick in investment sales volume in Asia, where the market has adjusted quickly and pricing may have hit bottom in some cities in the second quarter.
  • stabilization of property markets in the Pacific region after 18 months of turmoil.
  • increased activity in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) investment market to €13 billion from €11.6 billion in the first quarter of 2009, with expectation for further improvement in the fourth quarter.

The prospects for commercial real estate during the balance of this year remain mixed. “It is startling how much more optimism is found in Asia, compared with investor sentiment in mature economies,” said Dr. Raymond Torto, CBRE’s Global Chief Economist. “It is obvious that the countries most burdened with weak credit institutions are in for a longer recovery period than others. While the severe recession of the last year was synchronized across the globe, the recoveries will widely vary, determined mostly by the strength of a country’s banking system.” For another International real estate news source or Denver real estate trends I invite you to visit our Denver real estate website.

FIABCI-USA Fall Business Conference, Denver Colorado

Don’t miss the FIABCI-Fall conference coming to Denver, September 11-13, 2009.  The event is to be held at the Downtown Denver Ritz-Carlton.

FIABCI aims to bring you into the fold of a family of people, all embracing cultural diversity, united in one common goal: to erase the borders in international real estate and provide the world with a team of experts ready to meet their property needs.

Visit the FIABCI-USA website for more information.

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