A year may not seem like much, but when it comes to lowering the age of a destination’s visitor base, it’s a significant move of the needle.
A recent report of visitor surveys compiled by the California University of Pennsylvania’s Tourism Research Center – which has been analyzing data about Adams County’s visitors for the past 10 years, showed that the average age of those visitors surveyed dropped to 52. This represents a small but promising drop from 2015.
Lowering the average age of Adams County was identified in 2014 – as part of Destination Gettysburg’s five-year strategic plan – as a top goal coming out of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 2013.
“For several years since the strategic plan, the age of our visitors remained steady at 53, indicating that the age had at least leveled off and that if our marketing efforts continued, that number would soon drop,” said Norris Flowers, President of Destination Gettysburg.
In order to meet this long-term goal, in 2014, Destination Gettysburg announced a shift in its marketing to attract new and younger visitors to Adams County through a variety of experiences in recreation, culinary, shopping and other cultural events that weren’t as familiar to potential visitors as Gettysburg’s rich Civil War history.
California University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Susan Ryan who annually leads her students in the tourism study indicated that age is often a tough number to shift, due to its heavy central tendency, adding “given our history with the data, that one is hard to move statistically.”
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