Press-Republican

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June 17, 2013

Essex County tourism shows effective marketing

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LAKE PLACID —

The average visitor party spent $326 a day, McKenna said, and the per trip average was $1,597.

“This allows us to derive a clear profile of our visitor demographics and map the evolution of visitor interests,” he said. 

“The high rate of response to the survey and consistent return on investment underscores the correlation between our marketing strategy and the resulting economic impact to the region.”  

IMPROVED MARKET

That impact is that for every $1 ROOST shells out on marketing, visitors spent $82, the study says. The total spent by tourists in Essex County in 2012 was $138 million.

“That’s a positive indicator of an improved market,” McKenna said. 

The total number of visitors influenced by ROOST to come to Essex County in 2012 was 342,458, which is about $4.95 a person marketing cost, based on the study. 

The number of ROOST-influenced tourists was about a 1 percent increase over the previous year.

ROOST Director of Communications Kimberly Rielly said by email that the survey of social-media usage was very valuable.

“As a communications professional, it is important for me to obtain the social-media survey results from this process,” she said via email. 

“This data shows that the social-media respondents include a higher instance of people who have never been here before, as opposed to traditional advertising respondents. 

“This means that we are gaining exposure to new, like-minded potential visitors, and supports the importance of social media in our overall marketing mix.”

VISITORS VALIDATE

Rielly said the travel industry has had challenges in tracking the benefits of social-media efforts, but trends show that validation doesn’t come from traditional media, but from their customers — the visitors.

“We are all more likely to listen to our friends’ referrals, after all.”

McKenna said he’s often been asked if Essex County could host an event like the Americade, the motorcycle rally held in Lake George every June.

“You need a lot more rooms than we have,” he said. “Warren County has 15,000 rooms available. Essex County has 2,200 rooms countywide.”

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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