The last few months of the year are packed with trips to different locations away from home, aren't they? Though getting to where you're going might be cumbersome, travel is a great learning opportunity for entrepreneurs. Whether you are just visiting with family or having a more extravagant destination holiday vacation, seeing different areas expands our understanding of what can work in business. However, successful locales don't just spring up overnight. They take years to develop and shape an identity that is attractive to those from beyond their local market. We should be working to encourage this sort of business climate here in The Region.

Tourism as a Solution

Creating a welcoming environment for tourism starts with one intrepid person's vision and expands as others join the movement to fill gaps in the landscape. What good are hotels if their aren't natural landmarks to enjoy? Someone had better get to building a big ******* thing (Thanks Lewis Black!) to get people to come around.

No municipality or district can rest on its earlier achievements forever though. It is critical to continue working to improve the amenities and switch out retailers that no longer work hard for visitor revenue in exchange for those that will (though the market often does this with little oversight). With that said, tourism is not the only way to generate an influx of traveler money. There are other ways to bring in people that are more business oriented.

Let Businesses Meet

Events such as sports-related outings or conferences are an excellent way to get people together from beyond the borders of Northwest Indiana. Bringing together people in industry and business communities means that even when they go home, a solid relationship can result in new jobs or economic growth here at home. Our area should seek to encourage conventions and promotors to stage their gatherings in the venues and towns throughout Lake & Porter county Indiana.

As Joseph Pete, a journalist for The Times, stated in a recent article, The Region is experiencing an unemployment rate above the state average. If we are going to catch up, and hopefully lead the way to economic prosperity, our leaders and business people must find ways to stimulate growth here. Though we receive help from downstate, the hard work must come from the innovators that call our area home. The conversation needs to permeate every level of our social fabric.

Let's jump-start the renewal process!

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