The RRC team started working in tourism almost four decades ago when our founders were asked by decision makers in Vail and Aspen to help them understand skier profiles and behaviors. Today we are still the dominant research provider to the snowsports industry in North America.
However, we have expanded our scope and expertise and we now work for DMOs and communities nationwide to develop data-driven strategies to both promote tourism and manage its impacts. Below are some of the niche areas where RRC is helping or clients use data to make smart decisions and allocate limited resources for maximum results.
Visitor Profile Studies
To effectively promote your destination to high value visitors, the first step is to understand:
- Who are your current visitors (demographics, psychographics)?
- Where are they coming from and where are they staying?
- What factors influence their travel choices?
- What are they doing when they arrive and what are their likes and dislikes?
- How much are they spending and on what?
An accurate profile of your visitor base is a critical first step in creating a powerful marketing strategy to drive new travelers to your destination. RRC has done numerous visitor profile studies across the country. We know how to get right data and how to analyze it for results.
Economic Impacts of Tourism
The visitor economy is important to many communities and regions as a source of jobs and tax revenues. Cities, counties, states and districts all invest public funds to encourage more overnight visitors. But are those investments producing the desired return and results? RRC has extensive experience documenting the economic impact of tourism and the return on investment of public money invested to increase visitation.
We conduct primary research to document spending patterns of visitors and generate an economic impact model using IMPLAN software. The results address both direct and secondary economic impacts of tourism, as measured by output as well as estimates for the total employment and total labor income attributable to tourism.
Special Events Research
In recent years, the importance of festivals, races, and concerts has increased dramatically in tourism promotion. Many Americans now plan their vacations around attending a favorite event. Understanding the impacts of these events is a specialty of RRC along with calculating ROI for any public funds invested.
Our team dives into visitor demographics, attendance, spending patterns, length of stay and other variables to measure the true value of special events to a city or state. We can also measure community attitudes to gauge “event fatigue” that has become an issue in some communities.
Local leaders need to consider all of the pros and cons in deciding which special events are worth producing, promoting or sponsoring. The RRC team are experts at gathering the visitor intelligence that provides a complete picture of event impacts. Find more information about special events research techniques and clients, here.
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
For some resort communities, air service accounts for 70% or more of their visitor traffic. Good passenger data and analysis is critical to maximize your investment in air service. RRC Associates frequently conducts passenger research on behalf of local airport boards, tourism and economic development agencies, and chambers. Our team uses the data to:
- Evaluate trends in the local passenger profile
- Assess the economic impact of air travelers in a local economy
- Evaluate opportunities to expand and improve local air service
Jackson Hole, Aspen, Sun Valley and Reno are just a few of the recent destinations we’ve worked with to evaluate and maximize the results of their air service strategies.