Visitors to the region were outdoorsy, preferred hotel accommodations to other types and spent $82 for every occupancy tax dollar spent on marketing in 2012, according to the latest leisure travel information study.
For the tenth year in a row, the Lake Placid CVB / Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) contracted an independent third party to conduct a Leisure Travel Information Study. For the last two years, ROOST engaged PlaceMaking to conduct the survey applying the same methodology as in the previous years (conducted by the Technical Assistance Center at SUNY Plattsburgh).
The Lake Placid CVB / Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the accredited destination marketing organization (DMO) responsible for promoting the Schroon Lake, Lake Champlain, Whiteface, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid regions to the traveling public.
In addition to valuable demographic data and trends, the study’s intent is to determine the effectiveness of the ROOST’s marketing programs, to measure the return on investment (ROI) ratio for public marketing expenditures and the conversion rate factor, or the number of those leads who actually visited the region.
The Leisure Travel Information Study is based on a survey of the ROOST’s 2012 trackable leads database. New leads are added on a constant basis; walk-in visitors, phone and mail inquiries and web signups provide a snapshot of the respondents to the 2012 overall marketing efforts. For the third year, survey responses from social networking participants in the DMO’s Facebook and Twitter networks were separated for individual consideration in the results.
Although lakeplacid.com alone receives millions of unique visitors, the survey takes only these trackable leads into consideration. In order to calculate the economic impact of the ROOST’s marketing efforts exclusively, the results do not include any standard economic multipliers.
Here are some highlights from the results:
- According to the report, the average stay reported by 2011 visitors was 4.9 nights. This represents a substantial increase from the 2011 average reported visit duration of 2.8 nights. This figure is also higher than the five year average of 4.0 nights.
- The average age of respondents was 51 years old, and this is consistent with data on average from the last five years.
- Visitation by area of residence shows for the second year a larger proportion of visitors who live within a day’s drive or less than found in years prior. One half (50%) of visitor respondents reported living in New York State, which was slightly lower than demonstrated from 2011 (53%). Visitation from all other regions was consistent from the prior year.
- Survey responses by those who participated through ROOST social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) were separated for individual consideration, versus the remainder of the group. The pool of social media-garnered respondents is much smaller than “all other” respondents (374 vs. 3,663), but grew in size over the last year in proportion to increased general response.
- Social media respondents had a mean age of 46, were likely to report friends or family, or social media, as influencing their decision to visit in 2012. These respondents reported higher levels of attraction to outdoor activities and arts and entertainment than “all other” respondents. Among those for whom outdoor activities were a draw, hiking and canoeing/kayaking were reported with substantially higher frequency than among the other respondents. Social media respondents reported a slightly longer average duration of stay and a slightly smaller average party size than other respondents. This group estimated a nearly equivalent daily visitor spending in comparison to “all others” ($325 vs. $326). Overall spending, however, was just slightly higher among this sub-group given the slightly longer average stay.
- Outdoor activities have not only remained at the top of the list of activities that attracted visitors to the region, they have steadily grown in popularity as a draw. Hiking was the most popular reported outdoor activity, followed by canoeing/kayaking. Outdoor activities were followed by relaxing, dining and shopping, and sightseeing.
“We have been collecting this data for 10 years now, allowing us to derive a clear profile of our visitor demographics and map the evolution of visitor interests,” said James McKenna, president of ROOST. “And the high rate of response to the survey and consistent ROI on a rolling average underscores the correlation between our marketing strategy and the resulting economic impact to the region.”
The 2012 report, additional LPCVB/ROOST research and more is available for download at the online resource developed specifically for local tourism-related businesses. All are encouraged to review essential news, events, marketing opportunities and information atwww.roostadk.com.
Download the 2012 Leisure Travel Study