• Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation
  • Serving Cumberland County
  • Pennsylvania’s destination for business and leisure
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PA Tourism Sentiment Survey Results & CAEDC’s Plan to Restart Marketing the Destination

PA COVID-19 Tourism Sentiment Surveys and Economic Impact Reports

The Pennsylvania State Tourism Office has conducted three tourism sentiment surveys to better understand how people are feeling about traveling and visiting the state. Below are the main takeaways from the third, and most recent, survey.

Key Takeaways:

  • Overall, frequent travelers are more likely to travel than non-frequent travelers, but everyone is looking for info on how a destination and/or attraction is working to keep them safe
  • Travel outlook is not strong for fall, but appears to be picking up for Q1 2021
  • 1/3 of survey respondents indicated they were waiting on a COVID-19 vaccine before resuming travel
  • Those that are traveling are looking for clear and transparent reservation and cancellation information, about half indicated they’d prefer to stay with friends and family
  • Staycations, car travel and day trips are gaining popularity as some respondents indicated they were more comfortable traveling close to home
  • Exploring small towns, exploring cities, outdoor activities, wine/beer tours and camping are listed as the most desired activities, travelers are wary of dining out
  • Every region has seen an increase in its hotel occupancy rate since April’s low point, but all remain well below the level typically seen in mid-July
  • Economy and mid-scale hotel chains’ occupancy levels are increasing more quickly than high-end properties
  • As of July 18th, PA’s travel and tourism industry has lost an estimated $10.6 billion in total visitor spending compared to 2019

If interested, you can view all the reports and presentations here.

CAEDC’s Plan to Restart Tourism Messaging

CAEDC staff has been keeping up on these sentiment surveys and researching a wide variety of resources and examples from other destination marketing organizations. Below is a snapshot of our plans to market our destination.

  • Refocusing our destination updates page on VisitCumberlandValley.com to be more geared towards the safety of our destination and standards our businesses are following
  • Continuing to add content to our website that promotes safe attractions, businesses that are open and events that plan to happen/or are virtual
  • Restarting a flexible and limited ad campaign, running August-November, to focus on regional residents and visitors in the 2-3 hour drive market
  • Ads will focus on weekend “adventure” getaways that don’t require a lot of planning and promote a collection of outdoor activities, beer trail, things to do in our downtowns and area attractions
  • An example of our messaging can be viewed on our Good Day PA segment with ABC27

CAEDC is happy to share that we have recently seen increases to our hotel occupancy numbers and bookings. While still well below 2019, Cumberland County’s occupancy has grown from 21.2% in April to 26.4% in May and 37.2% in June.

On our VisitCumberlandValley.com reservations site we have also seen an uptick in bookings from 2019, with a 158% increase in booked overnights in June and a 72% increase in July.

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