Kentucky Visitor Profile Study Highlights

Report
Kentucky Visitor Profile Study
Highlights Summary
September 2010 – August 2011 Visitors
Prepared for:
The Commonwealth of Kentucky
Department of Travel and Tourism
Prepared by:
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Table of Contents
Statewide Highlights
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Background………………..……………………………………………………………………….. 3
Trip Planning…………………………………………………………………………………..…… 5
Trip Characteristics………………………………………………………………………..……. 6
Trip Assessment……………………………………………………………………………..…… 7
Visitor and Travel Party Profile…….………………………………………………..……. 8
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Background
Statewide Highlights
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The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism has commissioned DPA to
conduct a research study profiling visitors within Kentucky during the period of
September 2010 through August 2011.
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The findings from this research will be used primarily to inform the development
of future advertising and marketing plans for Kentucky’s tourism industry. To
fulfill this responsibility, the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism (KDTT)
requires accurate and timely information on tourism activity in the Kentucky.
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This summary report focuses solely on the statewide results.
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Statewide Highlights
Summary Findings
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Trip Planning
Statewide Highlights
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One challenge facing Kentucky is the fact that one in five visitors do not start talking about
their trip until the very month they will actually travel. One consequence of this relatively
short decision time frame is that Kentucky must be top-of-mind during this discussion.
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In order to reach potential visitors, KDTT should continue to enhance its online presence, as
that is the primary source of information for prospective travelers during the trip planning
process.
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While search engines are one of the primary tools used to gather information about
Kentucky, travelers coming from longer distances, such as the Northeast or West, are more
likely than others to use AAA online and travel booking sites.
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KDTT and other tourism focused businesses can do a better job reaching potential first time
visitors with its marketing messages. Currently, only 34% of first time visitors recall seeing
any Kentucky promotions, while 71% of those who have been more than once recall seeing
these promotions.
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Promoting the fact that Kentucky is peaceful, safe, convenient and has an unspoiled
environment will help attract potential visitors.
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Trip Characteristics
Statewide Highlights
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The majority of travelers come to Kentucky for vacations or short pleasure trips. However,
those traveling in the winter or spring are more likely than others to say they are coming to
visit family and friends.
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Visitors tend to spend 72% of their total travel time on a given trip in Kentucky. During the
fall and winter, travelers only spend about half their travel time in the State. Kentucky may
be able to capture additional tourism dollars by increasing the proportion of these fall and
winter travelers’ trips.
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Dining out, shopping for gifts and souvenirs, as well as sightseeing, are the most popular
activities engaged in during a Kentucky leisure trip. However, the breadth of activities
enjoyed by visitors suggests that Kentucky can promote a wide variety of activities to lure
additional visitors.
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Approximately three-fourths of all visitors to Kentucky stay in paid accommodations, and
70% dine out.
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Active or outdoor recreation is enjoyed by half of all visitors, while 19% enjoy the city sites.
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Trip Assessment
Statewide Highlights
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Nearly all visitors (92%) to Kentucky say they were satisfied with their visit. In fact, 63% were
very satisfied.
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These visitors also are likely to return to Kentucky in the future, with 71% saying they definitely will
return and 18% saying they probably will return.
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Additionally, 96% are likely to recommend Kentucky as a vacation destination, similar to the 96%
Statewide average.
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Just under half (45%) of the visitors to Kentucky say it is about as expensive as they thought
it would be, but almost as many (41%) say it was less expensive than they expected.
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Two in five (39%) visitors also feel the quality of accommodations exceeded their
expectations, with 13% saying it far exceeded their expectations.
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Visitors to Kentucky liked the scenery (63%) and friendliness of the people (49%) the most.
Twenty-two percent said they liked the quality of dining options.
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Not having enough time to do all they wanted to do was the most commonly mentioned
“least favorite” feature.
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Visitor and Travel Party Profile
Statewide Highlights
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The typical visitor to Kentucky has an annual household income of nearly $75,000.
Visitors are, on average, 51 years old.
Just over one-quarter (28%) of visitors bring their children.
Kentucky primarily draws its visitors from the South (52%) and Midwest (32%). Nearly onethird (32%) of travelers in Kentucky are in-state travelers going to other regions of the State.
Ohio and Indiana are other states that feed Kentucky tourism.
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Appendix
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Methodology
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Given the composition of past and current travelers needed to provide an annual
profile of visitors, DPA employed a two-pronged data collection approach.
Past Visitors
Current Visitors
Online Survey
In-Person Intercept Survey
Among KDTT’s e-newsletter subscribers
Among visitors at locations known to have
tourists
Traveled in Kentucky during
Traveling in Kentucky during
September 2010 – May 2011
June 2011 – August 2011
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Methodology
Past Visitors
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Kentucky travelers during September 2010 through May 2011.
DPA conducted an online survey among KDTT’s database of e-newsletter subscribers.
Potential respondents were sent an email with an invitation to participate in an online survey about travel
in Kentucky.
Qualified respondents had to have traveled in Kentucky during the specified time period, traveling more
than 50 miles from home or staying overnight on their trip.
In total 924 qualified respondents participated in the survey from June 16, 2011 – July 24, 2011.
Current Visitors
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Kentucky travelers during June 2011 through August 2011.
DPA conducted a onsite intercept survey among Kentucky visitors at pre-determined locations, such as
outdoor recreation areas, attractions, tourist shopping areas, festivals/events, etc.
Potential respondents were approached by trained interviewers and asked to participate in a survey of
visitors to the area.
Qualified respondents had to be traveling more than 50 miles from home or staying overnight on their
trip. The questionnaire was to be completed by the respondent and returned to the interviewer.
In total 895 qualified respondents participated in the survey from June 24, 2011 through August 27, 2011.
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Methodology
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The data collected provides a readable sample of visitors in each season.
Respondents were grouped by season according to the month of their most recent
trip. The total number of completed interviews by season is shown below.
Number of
Respondents
Season
Month of Travel
Fall
September 2010 – November 2010
164
Winter
December 2010 – January 2011
90*
Spring
March 2011 – May 2011
670
Summer
June 2011 – August 2011
895
Total
1,819
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Methodology
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Additionally, the data collected provides a readable sample of visitors in each of
Kentucky’s nine tourism regions. Respondents who visited multiple regions on their
most recent trip were counted as a visitor in each of those regions so the groups are
not mutually exclusive. The map below shows how each region is defined.
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Davidson-Peterson Associates
201 Lafayette Center
Kennebunk, ME 04043
207.985.1790
www.digitalresearch.com
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