Best Destinations for Business Travelers in the US

Business travelers spend lots of money during their peregrinations for their companies. Global business travelers spent more than US$1.3 trillion in 2017, with China and US businesses the top two spenders. Expedia, the on-line travel agency looked its annual data and discovered that out of a total of 405 million trips made for business by Americans, about 60% extended their stays for fun.


The following three cities were found be the best US cities in which adding a few days to your business stay is the most fun according to small business solutions marketplace Fundera.


In first place was Los Angeles. Strategically situated in one of the sunniest US cities, a visitor can count on great weather, but there is a lot more to LA than sunshine. Gorgeous beaches, fantastic restaurants, non-stop entertainment opportunities and world-class museums are just the beginning of what makes LA such a great place to chill.


What must have been a close second is of course New York City. One of the great cities of the world, despite cold winters and hot/humid summers, the Big Apple is unquestionably the go-to place for an exciting vacation chock-full of an almost endless variety of activities suitable to every taste. From Broadway shows to lovely parks, the city that never sleeps is good choice for an after-work break.


In third place comes Dallas; but it ranks first in US cities not along any coast. This city is a wonderful compromise in its size, convenience and culture. Since it is not a mega metropolis like LA or NY, it might have less by way of choices for restaurants and hotels, but it makes up for that in the calm, cool atmosphere created by a smaller, friendlier and easier to get-around in environment. Not to mention the Dallas airport is a hub for just about anywhere else you might want to travel to in the US.


Fundera says that an average stay in a Dallas hotel is just under $190 per night, lower than in less-populated cities such as San Francisco or Miami. The Dallas Fort-Worth Airport is 20 miles from downtown, but even during rush hour it will only take 40 minutes to arrive.

Textbook Publisher Phasing Out Printed Textbooks

Pearson, the world’s biggest publisher of educational books, has taken step one in its journey to eventually discontinue the production of physical textbooks. The company said that from now on students will only be able to rent textbooks, which will not be updated as often as before. The hope is that students will be purchasing the company’s e-textbooks, which will be updated continually.


John Fallon, head of Pearson said that his company is now “over the digital tipping point.”
Fallon explained that today their annual revenue is half from digital sales. Therefore, they decided, similar to other industries like newspapers or music, that it is time to march forward in the way they make and create their products.


Currently Pearson makes 20% of its revenues from US textbooks. However, it has become more difficult as students increasingly switch to renting second-hand textbooks instead of buying new ones, to save money. In response Fallon said that Pearson will put an end to revisions of print books every three years, a practice that has been the industry standard for over 40 years.


This translates to updating only 100 of Pearson’s 1,500 total titles that are in print, significantly down from the 2019 figure of 500.


“There will still be [print] textbooks in use for many years to come but I think they will become a progressively smaller part of the learning experience,” Mr Fallon said. “We learn by engaging and sharing with others, and a digital environment enables you to do that in a much more effective way.”

Ericsson’s First Smart Factory is Coming to Somewhere in the USA


Although its exact location has not yet been announced, Ericsson confirmed that it is going to build its first smart factory in the USA soon. The factory will be fully automated and will build advanced antenna system radios as well as 5G radios. The products are both essential components for the insertion of 5G networks into North America.


The new factory is an additional component of the company’s global supply chain. Already working closely with its customers in Europe, Asia and America, Ericsson is continuing to insure they meet their customers’ needs.


Vice President and Head of Networks for Ericsson, Fredrik Jejdling, said;


“We continue to focus on working closely with our customers and supporting them in the buildout of 5G globally and in North America. In addition, we are digitalizing our entire global production landscape, including establishing this factory in the US. With 5G connectivity we’re accelerating Industry 4.0, enabling automated factories for the future.”


The company says that they want to open the new factory by the beginning of 2020. Their vision is that the new smart factory will be powered by Ericsson 5G solutions which are built specifically for industry. The operation will help to promote sustainability, including the goal of receiving LEED Gold Certification.


In the early stages the new factory will employ about 100 human workers working in tandem with the automation. The company already has a new R&D facility and software development center in Austin, Texas, which is already near the Austin ASIC Design Center. The Center opened at the end of 2017 and builds core microelectronics for 5G radio base stations.

Economic Growth Passes Previous Record for Duration

The economy broke a record at the end of June when it surpassed the previous longest period of growth of 120 months, or ten uninterrupted years.


The previous record was set when the US economy didn’t stop growing from March 1991 until March 2001 during which time the average annual real GDP grew by 3.6%. The record-breaking growth we are in now began in June 2009, and is still expanding, although the average annual real GDP has only been 2.3%.


The previous expansion that ended in March 2001 came to its unhappy end when the dot-com bubble burst.


Compared to other expansions, which were far shorter, growth was faster. For instance, during the 45-month expansion from October 1949 until July 1953, the economy grew by 6.9%. Between April 1958 and April 1960, the economy expanded by 5.5%.


Studies have shown that the expansion has not benefited all Americans equally. Steven Pressman of Colorado State University, a professor of economics who is concerned with income inequality, says that 60% of economic gains have benefited the top one percent of the population.


One example Pressman cites are the salaries of schoolteachers. Adjust for inflation, their incomes declined in 2018, by about 0.3%. During the same time period the median pay for top CEOs in the US, including non-salary compensation, climbed by 65%, adjusted for inflation between 2009 and 2018.

Toys R Us Making a Comeback


Former global chief of merchandising and present CEO of Tru Kids Brands, Richard Barry, says he would like to open at least two Toys R Us Stores in the United States in 2019, according to someone who is aware of Barry’s plans.


Last October Tru Kids Brands won the rights to the Toys R Us brand after the company went bankrupt last year. Tru Kids also owns the rights to the company’s other assets such as Babies R Us and Imaginarium.


“We’re definitely coming back in 2019. At minimum two stores. There’s more planned for 2020,” the unnamed person said.


That person added that the new stores will be smaller than the old ones and will be more “experiential.”


“We have significant interest about how to bring the brand back to the US,” Barry explained to CNN Business earlier this year. “We’re working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to bring it to life.”