Such information is vital to Destination Gettysburg as it not only markets Gettysburg, Pa., to potential visitors, but to highlight tourism as a driving force in the local economy.
This year, Dr. Susan Ryan, who heads the research project, presented Destination Gettysburg’s Board of Directors with a snapshot of our typical visitor – based on information collected and calculated to averages and medians of answers by those nearly 1,000 visitors surveyed in 2015.
While the information is simply meant to provide those inside and outside the tourism community with an informal understanding of our visitors, the information is crucial to develop a strong marketing plan to grow the county’s top industry.
Among the findings:
- The average age of adults who participated in the survey was 53. Surveying those under the age of 18 is both illegal and unethical.
- Nearly 97 percent were residents of the United States.
- A large majority (87.1 percent) responded that they had at attended at least “some college.”
- When asked about income levels – those reporting making less than $50,000 made up 48.3 percent of the responses, and those making between $50,000 and $100,000 were 37.6 percent of respondents.
- Nearly 53 percent had been to Gettysburg on a previous trip.
- An overwhelming majority (88.5 percent) were here for a vacation or getaway, while 4.8 percent were here on business. Others were visiting friends or family.
- More than 86 percent of those surveyed said Gettysburg was their main destination, while 12 percent said Gettysburg was part of many destinations they would visit on their trip.
- The median length of stay was two nights, but nearly 60 percent indicated they were visiting as part of a day-trip.
- When asked how much they spent on their total trip to Gettysburg, the average was $255.33.
- Of those who stayed overnight …
- 68.7 percent stayed in a hotel/motel
- 17.3 percent stayed at a campground
- 6.1 percent stayed at a bed and breakfast
- 4.9 percent stayed with friends or family
- Nearly half of those surveyed (45.4 percent) were traveling in a group of two people. Twelve percent were with a party of three, and 15.7 percent were with a party of four.
- Most, 72.7 percent were traveling without children.
- When asked about their satisfaction of their visit to Gettysburg, 99.9 percent said they’d recommend Gettysburg to others.
Dr. Ryan emphasized to the Board of Directors that the aforementioned responses from visitors was an accurate sampling of Adams County’s overall visitor base. Surveys are conducted at various points throughout Gettysburg and during all 12 months of the year.
She also suggested that Gettysburg was in an “enviable” position, meaning that its “typical visitor” detailed above was a “high-quality” visitor.
“The destination is extremely healthy and will continue to be so long-term,” said Dr. Ryan, who added that visitors to Adams County are highly matched with the experience the destination offers.
For a full copy of the California University of Pennsylvania’s 2015 Intercept Visitor Survey, contact Carl Whitehill, Director of Communications with Destination Gettysburg, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Destination Gettysburg relies on a variety of studies and research - including a statewide economic report compiled by Tourism Economics, as well a monthly review of Adams County's lodging through Smith Travel Research. For a look at the research Destination Gettysburg uses, click here.