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State Tourism Office Presents Findings from Tourism Sentiment Survey

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office recently presented the findings from their latest Tourism Sentiment Survey. The online survey of 25 questions was sent to 1,000 individuals from October 26 to 28. Results do not reflect the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and the effects of the most recent state mandates regarding testing and the use of masks.

High-level takeaways for brands and businesses marketing to travelers:

  • Cement loyalty by building brands around innovation and kindness. Consumer are expecting brands to “lean into kindness.”
  • Provide synchronous and tactile experiences to create a sense of community. Facilitate shared experiences so consumers “can still share moments even if they can’t share space.”
  • Lead with practicality and convenience. Make consumers lives easier. Be practical and position your content to offer convenience.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • Summer 2020 did not see an expected bump although travel sentiment is slowly improving with 1 in 3 respondent planning future trips – led by younger and wealthier consumers. Responses indicate that trips postponed from summer to fall are being postponed again to late winter. Marketing efforts should focus on attracting consumers who may be seeking a winter break.
  • The top five motivators for travel were:
    • options where social distancing can be practiced
    • a COVID-19 vaccine
    • an “all-clear” message from trusted sources (ie, government, destination)
    • discounts
    • options close to home
  • A large bump in day trips shows pent-up consumer demand. Marketing efforts should continue to focus on what is possible to see and do in a day.
    • 76% ranked a car as their most likely form of transportation
    • 65% agree or strongly agree that they are more likely to take a “staycation” in the coming year
    • 64% agree or strongly agree that they are more likely to find excursions that don’t involve an overnight stay
  • Over half of the respondents indicated that their likely activities are unchanged from before COVID-19. Top activities include those listed below. However, of those who have had a personal experience with COVID-19, 54% said that their chosen activities are different than pre-COVID. (How these activities are different from what is listed below was not noted.)
    • Getting away to a city (favored by younger consumers ages 18-34)
    • Exploring a small town
    • Attending a festival
    • Going on a food, wine, or beer tour
    • Visiting a historical site or battlefield
  • Consumers view Pennsylvania as a safe and accessible destination. 76% are very or somewhat likely to visit PA as a tourist for a getaway in the next 6 months to year.

The State Tourism Office also shared Pennsylvania Travel Industry Indicators for September 2020. Click here to see statistics regarding statewide hotel occupancy, traveler spending, and leisure and hospitality employment.

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