Visitor Profile Studies
Documenting the patterns of visitors to your community is critical to remaining competitive with other destinations. RRC Associates has worked with numerous cities, towns, and mountain resorts in tracking the guest profile over time and understanding the experience from the visitor’s point of view. Our Visitor Profile Studies are based on careful and accurate research that typically utilizes a combination of intercept surveys, post-visit online surveys, kiosk surveys, and other techniques. Examples of intelligence gathered in visitor research includes reason for the visit, visitor spending, the role of special events, visitor mix (day/overnight/second homeowner), areas of strength, and areas for improvement. The information is often shared with the community and the local government to get buy-in on the importance of tourism.
Click here to see additional information about Visitor Profile Studies and a list of recent clients.
Parks and Recreation, Open Space and Trails Needs Assessments
RRC Associates has particular expertise with parks, recreation, open space, and trails needs assessment studies for cities, counties, recreation districts, and states throughout the US. We obtain citizen input on a variety of topics related to parks and recreation use, values, and community priorities for future improvements. Current satisfaction levels with existing facilities and programs are also measured, as is the relative importance of specific new priorities, facilities, and policies most desired and needed by the communities. Whether it is expansion of a trail system, changes to existing programming, or development of a community recreation center or aquatic facility, our research can help guide the development of parks and recreation master plan of your community.
Click here to see some examples of communities where we have worked on Parks and Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Needs Assessments.
Special Events Research
Understanding the various impacts of special events — visitor characteristics, total attendance, spending patterns, length of stay, whether the event was the primary driver of visitation — is critical to evaluating and prioritizing these events. Towns and businesses need to know the relative impact of various events to effectively plan for the future. The team at RRC Associates has conducted survey research at many different types of events and can help you gather and evaluate such visitor intelligence.
Click here to view a sheet about special events research techniques and clients.
Economic Impact of Tourism
Tourism is a very important economic sector in many communities and regions, generating sales tax and jobs. RRC Associates has extensive experience documenting the economic impact of the tourism sector for cities, counties, regions, and states. The economic impact of a particular sector, such as the local airport or the snowsports industry in a state, can also be profiled. We conduct primary research to document spending patterns of visitors; this information and other inputs are utilized to generate an economic impact model using IMPLAN software. The results address both the direct and secondary (indirect plus induced) economic impacts of tourism, as measured by output, employment, and labor income, as well as estimates for the total employment and total labor income attributable to tourism.
What is the perception of your town, among both visitors and potential visitors in your target markets? RRC Associates has conducted numerous research projects to measure reactions to potential taglines, creative, campaigns, and general perceptions. These studies have often evaluated travel patterns, town perceptions and positioning, influences and barriers to visitation, and related issues among identified travelers in target markets. An example is an online survey that tested a tagline using a consumer panel with target market characteristics; a second example is a series of focus group discussions with people in the target market to probe perceptions and reactions to the town and to the ad campaign for the town. The research provides clear guidance regarding the strengths, weaknesses, and associations of the town and the advertisements.
Airport User Research
RRC Associates regularly conducts airport passenger research on behalf of local airport boards, tourism and economic development agencies, and related entities. Such research is commonly undertaken in order to better understand the characteristics, needs, and preferences of airport users, who are a critical component of the tourism market in many resort settings, in addition to being a foundation of the local economy in non-tourism communities. RRC commonly applies this research to evaluate trends in the local passenger profile, assess the economic impact of air travelers in a local economy, and evaluate opportunities to expand and improve local air service.