Research-based tourism approach is a win for all | Opinion Columns

When it involves advertising and marketing a vacation spot to potential guests, many tourism boards depend on prior expertise, private opinions, anecdotal info and even hunches to develop their advertising and marketing methods. While these components can and do have a position to play within the course of, nothing is extra precious, insightful or correct than analysis.Research not solely permits us to ascertain very broad customer profiles resembling age, earnings and geographic origin, it additionally permits us to drill down into very particular particulars like actions, pursuits, spending, satisfaction, internet promoter rating and the probability of returning to Walla Walla. It permits us to be environment friendly in our work, focused in our advertising and marketing, efficient in our outcomes and the absolute best stewards of the funds to which we’re entrusted.In phrases of informing a vacation spot administration group’s strategic approach, and prioritizing and allocating the assets that can be spent towards it, I imagine there is maybe no better return on funding than analysis.Visit Walla Walla makes use of two major strategies of analysis — customer intercept surveys and consciousness and notion analysis — to assist us higher perceive, amongst different issues, who is visiting, when and why they’re visiting and their perceptions of Walla Walla as a vacation spot. Visitor intercept surveys seize knowledge from vacationers whereas they’re already in Walla Walla, whereas consciousness and notion analysis targets vacationers who might or might not have visited Walla Walla beforehand, however who meet particular demographic or geographic standards.Experience tells us on the macro stage that the Walla Walla Valley is well known for its enchantment as a wine and culinary vacation spot, together with a rising supporting forged that features recreation, performing and visible arts, historical past, tradition and extra. Research paints a a lot clearer image of the micro influences and alternatives that we are able to mine from a advertising and marketing perspective.Most not too long ago, Visit Walla Walla contracted with RRC Associates, which focuses on market analysis for the tourism business, to conduct a thorough customer intercept survey in the summertime and fall of 2021.With funding from the Walla Walla County and metropolis of Walla Walla Lodging Tax Advisory Committees, surveys have been administered by native workers at a number of areas throughout Walla Walla together with downtown, the airport, Fort Walla Walla Museum, the Visit Walla Walla customer kiosk and at varied wineries and tasting rooms. In all, greater than 600 accomplished surveys have been obtained between July 3 and Nov. 20, 2021.While the findings validated lots of our beliefs, in addition they make clear alternatives to achieve new audiences, promote new or completely different actions at sure instances of the yr, fine-tune messaging to particular demographics and regulate the timing of messaging to align with shifts in shopper journey planning conduct. We additionally discovered that as many as 44% of respondents discovered about Walla Walla as a vacation spot by means of our owned advertising and marketing channels together with promoting, PR, web search, social media and web site.Utilizing demographic and psychographic knowledge gleaned from the analysis, now we have the power to “clone” audiences, which permits us to achieve much more individuals who match the identical or comparable customer profiles. We also can additional optimize our target market based mostly on return on funding, by cross-referencing demographics with journey traits resembling size of keep, lodging sort, journey spending, celebration measurement, market of origin and mode of journey.Armed with these findings and extra, Visit Walla Walla has already begun to make much more knowledgeable choices on the place, when and tips on how to goal potential guests. We even have a second spherical of analysis, funded by metropolis of Walla Walla LTAC, targeted on Walla Walla’s consciousness and notion ranges amongst vacationers in key goal markets. This survey is presently being performed by Destination Analysts, and the findings will assist additional outline our viewers and place relative to aggressive locations and optimize our messaging and advertising and marketing accordingly.The financial positive factors our group will make as a results of these investments can be seen within the motels, eating places, tasting rooms, outlets and different companies that can profit from tried and true research-based approach to tourism.To receive a copy of the entire Walla Walla Summer/Fall 2021 Visitor Survey, please e mail [email protected]

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