11 Nov ROOST Posts 2014 Leisure Travel Study Results
LAKE PLACID, adirondacks, usa – Visitors to the region were drawn by outdoor recreation, were slightly younger than the mean average from previous years and spent $83 for every occupancy tax dollar spent on marketing in 2014, according to the latest leisure travel information study.
For the twelfth year in a row, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) contracted an independent third party to conduct a Leisure Travel Information Study. For the last four years, ROOST engaged PlaceMaking to conduct the survey applying the same methodology as in the previous years when it was conducted by the Technical Assistance Center at SUNY Plattsburgh.
ROOST is the accredited destination marketing organization (DMO) responsible for promoting Essex County, Franklin County, Hamilton County, the Town of North Elba, the Town and Village of Tupper Lake, Harrietstown, Lake Placid, Piercefield, and Saranac Lake, New York to the traveling public.
In addition to providing valuable demographic data and trends, the study’s intent is to determine the effectiveness of 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 leads who actually visited the region.
The Leisure Travel Information Study is based on a survey of ROOST’s 2014 trackable leads database. “Leads” represent the contact information collected from individuals who have responded to ROOST’s destination marketing efforts, such as online contest entries or newsletter sign ups. Although lakeplacid.com alone received over 1.4 million unique visitors in 2014, the survey takes only these trackable leads into consideration.
Here are some highlights from the results:
- Average visitor party age of respondents was 49 years old; which is slightly younger than the five year average visitor age (51).
- Mean annual reported household income of visitors was $101,039.
- The average reported total visitor party size was 3.9 persons, including an average of 2.7 adults and 1.2 children. This showed a very slight decrease from average reported 2013 visitor party size, but a higher figure of children.This is the first time that the average number of children per visitor party rose above 1.0, implying stronger family visitation.
- The average stay reported by 2014 visitors was 3.9 nights. This represents a decrease from the 2013 average reported visit duration of 5.1 nights which had represented a historic high. The 2014 reported average stay is just below the five year average of 4.1 nights.
- Peaks summer (July/August), followed by early summer (May/June) were the highest reported times of visitation. Reported winter visitation (November/December and January/February) dropped considerably from 2013 levels. This may be attributable to poor stretches of weather for winter sports.
- Outdoor activities remained, by a substantial margin, the largest draw to the area. “Relaxing, dining and shopping” remained the second most frequently reported draw to the region, followed by sightseeing. heritage and culture and then Olympic site visitation, which dropped in 2014 compared to the 5 year average. Sports and events dropped markedly from the spike in levels of attraction that were reported by 2013 visitors, and Heritage and Culture increased as a key attraction to visiting the area in 2014.
- The estimated number of leisure visitors to the region in 2014 based on contacts through ROOST and the conversion rate reported by survey respondents is over 460,000. These visitors spent nearly an estimated $158 million during these Essex County visits.
“The results of this study contribute to our data decisions, and certainly inform our ongoing marketing strategies,” said James McKenna, president of ROOST. “Data such as a decrease in the average age of visitors, and stronger family visitation indicates the need to be innovative in targeting a younger audience, as traditional marketing tactics are no longer a viable way to reach the millennial generation.”
“This data also underscores the correlation between our marketing strategies and the resulting economic impact to the region,” said McKenna. “Every dollar spent on marketing generated $3.72 in sales tax to Essex County. That means that in addition to $157,975,400 in direct visitor expenditures, we can also trace $6.3 million in Essex County sales tax revenue, and double that amount in New York State sales tax collections, directly to ROOST’s contact lists.”
The 2014 report, additional 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 at www.roostadk.com.
Kim Rielly, director of communications