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Volume I : Issue 6

June 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​​​: “Changing the Drawing Order of Overlays”

Thematic Map – Domestic Travel Heat Map (Point of Origin)​

Trivia Challenge​​ – America’s Top Tourist Attractions

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Utilizing Your Own Data”

This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner


Phone: 1.888.848.4436



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GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Utilizing Your
Own Data”

THURSDAY, June 14th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

Humans are curious by nature. From the moment we are born we begin to explore the world around us and as soon as we gain mobility we just keep on moving. For many, this curiosity develops into a lifelong passion to travel the world and experience life to the fullest, creating memories that last a lifetime. We travel for many reasons, both business and pleasure. Personal travel is often motivated by the desire to meet new people, reconnect with friends, spend time with loved ones, escape the daily routine, discover new things, see breathtaking vistas, gain a sense of freedom, relax, enjoy, ponder… the list is endless.

Our desire to see the world has a tremendous economic impact. In 2010, the U.S. travel industry amassed $1.8 trillion in spending by domestic and international visitors; $759 billion in direct travel expenditures and another $1 trillion in other industries (Source: The U.S. Travel Association) Direct spending by travelers averaged $2 billion a day, $86.6 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute and $24,000 per second.

Travel and tourism accounted for an impressive 2.7% of our nation’s 2010 GDP (gross domestic product), supporting 14 million jobs in the U.S, and it ranks among the top 10 industries in 48 states for employment.  The reach of the industry is global. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism accounts for 9% of GDP globally and supports 255 million jobs around the world, or one in 12 jobs. The WTTC expects the industry to grow about 3% in 2012, and eventually account for one out of every 10 jobs. As the U.S. economy continues pulling out of its long downturn, Jan Freitag, a senior vice president at Smith Travel Research cited a 4.1 percent gain in first-quarter hotel bookings. The number of hotel workers increased 3.2% in March, and hotel occupancy levels have reached 63.6%, which is close to the historic average. (Source: Bloomberg Business Week)

U.S. travel and tourism industry data can be further divided by leisure vs. business travel, with leisure travel accounting for the lion’s share of activity. More than 1.9 billion person-trips were made in 2010.  Of those, 1.5 billion were for leisure travel, and 448 million were for business purposes. A person-trip is defined as one person traveling away from home overnight in paid accommodations or traveling to places more than 50 miles from home, one-way. The U.S. Travel Association cites the top five leisure travel activities for domestic travelers as follows:

• Visiting Relatives
• Shopping
• Visiting Friends
• Rural Sightseeing
• Beaches

The broad reach of the travel and tourism industry combined with the needs and interests of the individual traveler makes it ideal for small business owners and franchisors to enter the market. Travelers come in many varieties and desire a broad spectrum of offerings. Some prefer eating and lodging at well-known national chains while others seek out local mom and pop establishments. Some prefer adventurous outdoor treks, while others opt for full-service destination resorts. Some like to repeat the same vacation year after year, while others have a long list of places they’d like to visit within their lifetime, never visiting the same location twice.

The travel industry, despite its size, can be very competitive. Whether offering trip planning services, transportation, lodging, activities or other travel services, specializing in a niche market can help limit the competition. There is a vast panorama of opportunity for business owners who can combine their passion with sound business decisions and thorough market research; the road map to success is laid out before them, awaiting their exploration.

Tips & Techniques – Changing the Drawing Order of Overlays

There are many different overlay options available in GeoMetrx including ZIP Code Boundaries, ZIP Code Numbers, County Boundaries, City Labels, Roads, Airports, Rivers and more. When selecting and displaying the overlays on your map, one overlay feature can be covered by another. Changing the order of the overlays to best display the information you need to see is quick and easy.

To change the drawing order:

1) Expand the list of Overlays in the Map Panel by clicking on the +/- sign
2) Click the name of any Overlay and the Edit Overlays dialog box displays
3) In the Group list, select All Overlays – (choose this to alter drawing order)
4) Select the overlay that you want to move up or down in the drawing order, and drag it to the location where you want it to draw. Overlays at the bottom of the list are drawn last, and therefore on top of others.

In the two images below you can see the differences in the order of the overlays of the ZIP Code Number Overlay vs. City Label Overlay and the ZIP Code Boundary Overlay vs. the County Boundary Overlay:

Image 1: ZIP Code Number and County Boundary are at the end of the list and are drawn last, thereby placing them on top of other features

Image 2: City Labels and ZIP Code Boundaries are now at the end of the list and drawn last. Note that ‘Chicago’ can now be clearly seen in the second image, and the ZIP Code Boundaries (blue line) are drawn on top of the wider yellow County Boundaries, making both visible.

Click on any of the above images for a larger viewable version in order to see the true detail of the overlay drawing changes.

Changing the order of overlays is a quick and simple feature and when utilized  can make all the difference in presentation, yet it is often an overlooked option. Try it, we think you’ll like what you see!

Domestic Travelers

Our GeoMetrx online mapping application excels in creating rich demographic reports, demographic mapping, aligning & mapping sales or franchise territories, performing market analysis, retail site selection and much more. You can use our available current year demographic datasets or upload your own company data to aggregate, compare, rank and map data on demand.

Our extensive travel industry data includes the following categories:

• Domestic Travel (Traveled Last Year; 11+ Roundtrips)
• Mode of Travel (Boat/Ship; Bus; Car; Plane; Railroad; RV; Other-Truck)
• Cruise Ship – Areas Traveled (multiple locations)
• Foreign Travel – Country Visited (multiple countries)
• Foreign Travel – Reason for Trip (multiple reasons measured)
• Travel Agent Services Used
• Hotel/Motel – Stay; Loyalty Program
• Average Amount Spent
• Travel Preferences (Organized Activities; Prefer Travel Abroad; Prefer
Travel Domestic; Prefer Different Location Every Trip; and more)
• Business Establishment Data and Retail Potential (Travel Services;
Hotels and Other Accomodations)

Below is a heat map of the point of origin of domestic travelers last year, generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The data is depicted at the county level and population percents increase from the lighter to darker areas. Demographic data, such as population density, combined with competitive business data is an extremely useful resource for determining market potential.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to these datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

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June 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) According to, what were the top three most visited American Tourist Attractions in 2009, in terms of number of visitors?

Click here for the answers!