RESEARCH FINDINGS UNDERSCORE
CONNECTICUT'S STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN TOURISM MARKETING
Highlights of research
studies measuring the impact of tourism in Connecticut:
Connecticut is registering as a tourism destination with more people than
ever before, and when they visit they spend significant dollars in-state.
- Spending of typical out-of-state travel
party: $603 and typical CT resident party: $342.
- Rise in the recognition that Connecticut has
"lots to do": 17% in 2000, 27% in 2001 and 38% in 2002.
- 73% of recent visitors say they are highly
likely to return to Connecticut within the next two years.
- Connecticut residents are important tourists
spending tourism time and dollars in-state and hosting out-of-state guests.
43% of travel parties include only Connecticut residents.
HARTFORD, CONN. - April 11, 2002 -
Results of recent research studies commissioned by the Connecticut Office of
Tourism measure changes in awareness and perception of the State and capture
satisfaction with visitor experience. Findings indicate that the Connecticut
Office of Tourism's $6.2 million dollar "Full of Surprises" campaign
for 2001 generated $254 million in direct tourism spending from the New York
market. This represents a $41 return for every dollar spent. Findings from the
research studies will direct marketing strategies, increase the effectiveness of
marketing efforts and help tourism officials understand and measure the economic
impact of tourism.
One survey, the 9th annual New York market area Conversion
Study conducted during December 2001 measures the effectiveness of selected
media by analyzing campaign inquiries and comparing data to previous years. A
random sample of 700 participants who in the past year phoned, mailed or emailed
the Office of Tourism for travel information completed the telephone survey.
Over 240,000 requests for information were fulfilled during 2001, a 12% increase
over the previous year. Of those inquirers 53% of inquirer households converted
or visited the state during the year, up 3% over the previous year. Survey
findings confirm that the Office of Tourism's web site is an important vehicle
for communicating information about the state. 44% of all inquirers visited www.ctbound.org
to gain information, up three-fold from 2000. In the past year the Office of
Tourism web site has undergone significant improvements to increase its appeal
to consumers by promoting short getaways and incorporating interactive features
such as customizable itineraries.
Findings from a Perceptual Tracking Study
conducted during January 2002 will help tourism officials identify motives for
getaway travel, understand visitors' preferred activities and measure
perceptions of the state. The telephone survey targeted random households in the
New York market area and questioned couples or families who have taken a getaway
trip in the past two years. The study reveals that visiting friends and family
is a primary driver motivating travel with 70% of households interviewed taking
some trips to visit friends and family. More than half (52%) have visited
friends and family in Connecticut in the last two years demonstrating the need
to market in-state to residents as well. The study also helps qualify how people
like to spend their leisure time on a getaway trip. Cultural heritage activities
are important pastimes for both couples and people traveling with children.
While families seek out activities near water, theme parks and outdoor
recreation. As a result of the survey findings the Office of Tourism's marketing
plan will continue to focus on developing short getaway experiences that
deliver, in a very tangible way, on the promise that "Connecticut is Full
Six focus groups were conducted in the
fall in the Greater New York target market area with members of Connecticut's
primary target audience, baby boomer women (age 35-54). The objective of the
focus groups was to explore attitudes toward travel and the state of
Connecticut. Findings from the focus groups suggest that there is a strong
emotional motivation to taking a getaway trip, many participants seek a change
of pace and an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones. Feedback
indicates that the 52-getaways concept is a device that opens peoples' eyes to
the wealth of things Connecticut has to offer. For consumers the 52-getaways
developed by the Office of Tourism translate into variety and choice.
The Connecticut Office of Tourism launched a new
syndicated research effort in 2001 in which properties and destinations were
invited to participate. The Connecticut Tourist Intercept Study gathers
information about the profile, motivations, behavior and spending patterns of
leisure visitors to Connecticut throughout the year. Intercept interviews were
conducted at participating attractions and venues in two waves during the summer
and fall of 2001 with over 1,000 interviews completed per wave and continues
Focus groups were led and directed by New
Haven-based McLaughlin, DelVecchio & Casey, Inc., the Office of Tourism's
marketing and in-state public relations agency in conjunction with The O'Neal
Group. Witan Intelligence Strategies in Avon, CT conducted the conversion study,
perceptual tracking study and intercept studies. Tourism is a significant
economic driver for Connecticut; the $5 billion industry 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 and calendar of events by calling the 1-800-CTBOUND Tourism
Information Hotline (1-800-282-6863) or logging on to www.ctbound.org.
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