Executive Summary January 2003
Measure Effectiveness of Montana’s Advertising Campaign (visit or plan to visit Montana). • Profile Montana Visitors (demographics, visitor patterns, trip purpose, transportation, travel party composition, accommodations, spending). • Image of Montana. • Influence of Montana Information on Decision to Visit and Behavior Once There. • Telephone Data Collection: 406 Respondents: 100 Interviews Each of Four Major Census Regions, Weighted to Reflect True Population Proportions.
Montana Visitors = Slightly Upscale Compared to Non-Visitors • Slightly higher median incomes ($55,000 vs. $52,000). • More education (44% college grads vs. 33%). • Somewhat older (58 vs. 51) and less likely to have children at home (35% vs. 40%). • In comparison, total U.S. leisure travelers (from NFO Plog Research’s annual syndicated study, The American Traveler Survey) are younger (48), tend to earn more ($57,400), represent fewer college grads (37%), and have similar household compositions.
Inquirers from the West are more likely to visit than those from other regions. Most visitors consider Montana as their primary vacation destination (not shown). Proportion of Region Inquirers Traveling to/thru Montana NE (13%) South (24%) Central (30%) West (46%) Visitor Origin Travel to Montana (Q4, Q5) Base (406) Travel Patterns in Past 12 Months
Influence of Information to Visit • Of those that inquired for information about Montana, 28% actually visited Montana. • Of the 28% of inquirers that visited, 7% report that the information they received influenced their decision to visit Montana. • 18% report the information influenced them to lengthen their stay in Montana
Total # % of % of InquirersInquirers Visitors BASE: Total Sample 406 100% Total Visited (Regardless of Information) 113 28 100% Visited, Decision Made Without Influence from Information 105 26 93 Visited, Recall Receiving Information 98 24 87 Information Influenced Decision to Travel 8 2 7 Information Influenced a Longer Stay 20 5 18 Gross Conversion (Caused to Visit or Lengthened Stay) 28 7 25 Net Conversion (Caused to Visit) 8 2 7 *Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding Gross/ Net Inquiry Conversion • Overall, the information positively influences 25% of visitors -- either to travel to Montana (7%) or to stay longer (18%). Inquiry/ Advertising Conversion (Q7-10) Base: Total Inquirers/ Visitors
Image of Montana • Visitors and non-visitors alike consider natural beauty, mountains, and open spaces as dominant images of the state. Image: Montana Vacation (Q23) Base: All Respondents (406) / Visitors (113)
Trip Characteristics • Most visitors are here to sightsee (25%). • Friend/family event (21%) ranks second. • Relaxation/escape (14%) and recreation/activities (13%) are other popular reasons to visit. • Most PI TV warm season inquirers visit in the summer (65%) or fall (23%). • Visitors usually travel in pairs (61%), without children (77%).
Transportation to Montana • Depending on distance from Montana, most drive there (68%), especially Midwesterners. Air travel is an option for many in the Northeast and South.
Accommodations in Montana • Averaging 4.5 nights per visit, Montana visitors typically stay in a hotel/motel. Campgrounds rank as a distant second-place, but this is more frequently an option for those living in the West. Accommodations in Montana (Q17)
Spending Per Day on Montana Trip • Excluding the transportation costs of getting to Montana, visiting travel parties estimate they spend $360 per day, varying somewhat by region. Spending Per Day by Category (Q18) Base (113): Visited Montana in Past 12 Months
Visitor Value to Montana • On average, each visiting travel party is worth about $1,620 -- $360 per day x 4.5 days per visit. Spending in Montana (Q14, 15, 18) TotalNortheastCentralSouthWest $ Per Day $360 $372 $414 $349 $323 Avg. # Days 4.5 5.2 4.3 4.7 4.4 Total Visitor Value $1,620 $1,934 $1,780 $1,640 $1,421
Satisfaction/ Likely to Return • As a vacation destination, Montana nearly universally satisfies visitors. As a result, the vast majority (92%) expect to come back again. Satisfaction/ Likely to Return (Q19, Q20)
Reasons to Not Visit Montana • Inquirers who did not visit Montana fall into two groups - non-travelers and travelers who did not visit Montana. • Non-travelers usually cite lack of time (51%), financial (49%), or illness/personal problem (40%) for not traveling -- reasons unrelated to the destination. • Montana non-visitors were most likely to simply choose some other destination (56%), followed by a lack of time (51%) and preference for someplace closer (13%).
Contributing Reasons to Not Visit Montana Contributing Reasons to Not Travel or Not Visit Montana (Q21) Base: Non-Travelers (47)/ Non-Visitors (246)
Net Definitely/ Probably Will 80% 80% 76% 89% 80% Non-Visitors’ Future Plans for Montana • Four out of five non-visitors state that they will definitely/ probably visit Montana in the next two years. Like past visitors, most expect to visit in Summer (57%) or Fall (26%). Plans to Visit Montana Within Two Years (Q22) Base (248): Took Trip, Did Not Visit Montana in Past 12 Months
Interest in Lewis & Clark Attractions • While on a Montana vacation, more than four out of five (84%) express interest in visiting a Lewis & Clark attraction. Interest in Lewis & Clark Attractions (Q26)
Strengths/ Opportunities • Based on a sample of inquirers, who have enough interest in Montana to request more information, visitors and non-visitors alike are very much aware of Montana’s beauty, mountains, open spaces, rivers, and lakes. • Montana not only provides a high level of satisfaction to visitors, but it fosters desire for a return visit. • High scores on satisfaction and intent to return suggest good word-of-mouth advertising probably occurs. Plus, it also implies that visitors “get what they expect” -- Montana’s image and advertising appears “on-target.” • Montana’s location is both a strength and an opportunity. Most travelers do not “just pass through” to somewhere else, so it misses the incidental benefits of that type of travel. However, people tend to stay several days (average 4.5 days) when they do visit.
Strengths/ Opportunities (cont’d) • Inquiry information has its strongest influence by encouraging a longer stay. • These measures of inquirers understate the impact of promotions and advertising. They represent only a portion of the people who observe the advertising and who may have other positive reactions besides calling for more information, such as: deciding to visit without getting information, lengthening an already planned trip, adding the destination as a possible place to visit in the future, encouraging others to go there, or another positive result. Just the ability to recall the ad suggests some impact and interest.
This study will be available at: travelmontana.state.mt.us