The results of the latest Leisure Travel Information Study concludes a return of $62 for every dollar spent on marketing in 2017. The study also provides comprehensive traveler demographic insight for the Adirondacks’ Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton counties.
For the 14th year, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) contracted an independent third party, PlaceMaking, to conduct a Leisure Travel Information Study, which includes a regional return on marketing investment analysis, plus traveler data for the three counties.
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.
New this year is additional research on day trippers and short-term renters, and traveler daily expenditures broken down by type of lodging. The research shows travelers that stay in traditional lodging (hotels, motel, etc) outspend on a daily basis their counterparts by a significant margin. Hotel, motel, and resort customers spend more on meals, shopping, transportation and attractions than those who stay at campgrounds, short-term rentals, a second home or with family, or day-trippers.
In addition to providing valuable demographic data and trends, the study’s intent is to measure the effectiveness of ROOST’s marketing programs. The study measures 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 study is based on a survey of ROOST’s 2017 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 or engaged social media followers. For example, although lakeplacid.com alone received over 1.1 million unique visitors in 2017, the study takes only the trackable leads into consideration.
Following are some highlights provided by ROOST:
The average stay reported by 2017 visitors was 3 nights.
The average daily traveler party spending in 2017 is estimated at $326 per day, or a total of $977 per trip.
Peak summer (July/August: 36%), followed by fall (September/October: 21%), then early summer (May/June: 20%) were the highest reported times of visitation. Winter season is the lowest activity period regionally with 17% of visits reported between November and February.
The estimated number of leisure travelers to the region in 2017 based on contacts through ROOST and the conversion rate reported by survey respondents is more than 968,550. These travelers generated an estimated $240,416,938 million during these visits.
Average visitor party age of respondents who primarily visited Essex County is 53 years old; this is very close to the five-year average traveler age (52) as compared to Franklin and Hamilton county respondents with an average age of 54 and 56 respectively.
Mean annual reported household income of visitors to Essex County was $103,121; Franklin County was $87,717; and Hamilton was $87,662,.
Although warm weather months saw more visitation across the region, Essex County saw greater reported winter visitation at 22% than Franklin (12%) and Hamilton (9%) counties.
The top two greatest reported area of residence for travelers to Essex County is Albany (29.3%) and New York City metro area (16.2%); Franklin County’s is Albany (16.2%) and Watertown (10.2%), and Hamilton County’s is Albany (26.3%) and Syracuse (16.4%).
The type of accommodations travelers reported to have stayed reflected the individual counties’ inventory. The majority of travelers stayed in hotels/motels/resorts in Essex County; hotels/motels/resorts in Franklin County with campgrounds (RV camper, tent, cabin) a close second; and campgrounds (RV camper, tent, cabin) in Hamilton County, with hotels/motels/resorts a close second.
“The results of this study contribute to our data-driven decisions, informing our ongoing marketing strategies,” said James McKenna, president of ROOST. “The differences in some of the individual county results highlight the need to continue to promote to a varied audience the unique characteristics of the diverse product offered throughout our geographic area of responsibility.”
The 2017 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.
The full Leisure Travel Study results are available here.