The latest Leisure Travel Information Study results provide comprehensive traveler demographic insight for the Adirondacks’ Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties.
For the 13th year in a row, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) contracted an independent third party to conduct a Leisure Travel Information Study. This year, ROOST again engaged PlaceMaking researchers to conduct the study, which includes a regional return on marketing investment analysis, plus extensive traveler data for Essex, and for the first time, Franklin and Hamilton counties as well.
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, the Village of Lake Placid, Piercefield, and Saranac Lake, New York to the traveling public.
In addition to providing demographic data and trends, the study’s intent is to measure the effectiveness of ROOST’s marketing programs, to measure the return on investment 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 2016 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 1.1 million unique visitors in 2016, the survey takes only these trackable leads into consideration.
By including Franklin and Hamilton counties’ data in the study for the first time, some key regional consistencies and county differences emerged in the results.
Following are some highlights provided by ROOST:
- Overall, 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 closely by sightseeing.
- The average stay reported by 2016 visitors was 3.9 nights.
- Peaks summer (July/August), followed by fall (September/October, then early summer (May/June) were the highest reported times of visitation.
- The estimated number of leisure travelers to the region in 2016 based on contacts through ROOST and the conversion rate reported by survey respondents is more than 525,000. These travelers generated an estimated $146 million during these visits.
- Average visitor party age of respondents who primarily visited Essex County was 51 years old; as compared to Franklin and Hamilton county respondents with an average age of 53.
- Mean annual reported household income of visitors to Essex County was $103,121; Franklin County was $91,432; and Hamilton was $91,940.
- Although warm weather months saw more visitation across the region, Essex County saw greater reported winter visitation than Franklin and Hamilton counties.
- The greatest reported area of residence for travelers to Essex County was Albany and upstate New York; and for Franklin and Hamilton Counties was western New York, with 53 percent of Hamilton County visitors from the western part of New York.
- The type of accommodations travelers reported to have stayed reflected the individual counties’ inventory. The majority of travelers stayed in hotels in Essex County; rv/tent in Franklin County, and cabins & cottages and rvs/tents in in Hamilton County.
- There was a return of $63 for every dollar spent on marketing in 2016.
To download the report, click here.