2002 Tourism Intercept Study
Measures Visitor Satisfaction
New research builds state's
knowledge portfolio key to 2003 strategy
HARTFORD, CONN. - November 12, 2002 - At
the Connecticut Tourism Council meeting in Rocky Hill today, the Connecticut
Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Economic and Community
Development, released results of a summer visitor intercept study conducted to
better understand where tourists come from, who they are, why they visit and
what they do when in Connecticut. This research will contribute to a valuable
knowledge portfolio that the state is building to help it to develop strategies,
monitor performance and respond to changing positions. The 2002 visitor
intercept study is a quarterly survey, conducted at attractions statewide.
Findings indicate that the 1.4 million visitor
parties, at participating sites during summer 2002, spent $1.01 billion on goods
and services in Connecticut. Spending on lodging is the largest non-gaming
category and represents 39% of average non-gaming spending. The average dollar
amount spent on lodging rose 24% over summer 2001.
"The results from this research study
enhance our market knowledge to give us a clear understanding of who our target
consumers are and what they value in a Connecticut vacation," said Ed
Dombroskas, executive director, Connecticut Office of Tourism. "We
partnered with seventeen attractions to produce this report, and this collective
effort enables us to share knowledge and build stronger and more effective
partnerships with the industry."
The study conducted by Witan Intelligence
Strategies in Avon, CT interviewed more than 1,200 visitors at seventeen sites
during August 2002. Intercepts took place on weekdays and weekends. Results were
weighted to accurately reflect attendance.
Which sites participated?
Northwest: Quassy Amusement Park, Litchfield area sites, Connecticut
Welcome Center in Danbury.
Southwest: Maritime Aquarium, Yale University sites, Connecticut Welcome
Center in Darien.
Northeast: Mark Twain House, New England Air Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum,
Southeast: Essex Steamtrain & Riverboat, Mashantucket Pequot Museum
& Research Center, Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America & the Sea,
Westbrook Factory Stores, Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Hammonasset Beach
State Park & Rocky Neck Beach State Park.
Where did visitors come from?
Visitors to Connecticut came from Massachusetts and Rhode Island (23%), the New
York / New Jersey region (19%), Maine / New Hampshire / Vermont (5%). Half of
all parties included at least one Connecticut resident.
Which visitors spent the most?
Out-of-state visitors spent more money in Connecticut than in-state vacationers.
62% of visitor parties included residents from out-of-state and 71% of those
said they were highly likely to return. Over $1 billion was spent by the 1.4
million visitor parties, from participating sites. Parties spent an average of
$712 per visit.
What did they want from their getaway?
Most vacationers came to Connecticut to have fun (82%). Other reasons tourists
visited were to "do something with the kids" (79%) and "relax and
What did visitors do while in Connecticut?
Gaming accounted for 57% of activities, followed closely by shopping at 55%.
Sightseeing, visiting beaches, museums and historic places were also mentioned
as excursions enjoyed by tourists. 17% of parties interviewed indicated that
they engaged in activities outside the attraction at which they were
Tourism is a significant economic driver for
Connecticut. The $5 billion industry, excluding gaming receipts, employs nearly
90,000 residents statewide and provides jobs for 4.3% of the state's workforce.
Tourism research publications are available from the Connecticut Office of
Tourism. Residents and prospective visitors to Connecticut can receive a free
2002 Vacation Guide, Calendar of Events and 52 Getaways Map by calling the
1-800-CTBOUND Tourism Information Hotline (1-800-282-6863) or logging on to www.ctbound.org.
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Note to Editors: Highlights of the intercept
report are available. Please contact Kathleen Goffa at 203-624-4151 x 30.