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Growing Asheville’s tourism industry

In 2016, Explore Asheville hired Longwoods International to compile a visitor profile. The firm, which has offices throughout the U.S. and in Toronto, bases its findings on annual surveys conducted nationwide. “Participants are telling us about their travels — everything from the tools they used to plan their trips to the experiences they engaged in during their travels,” company President Amir Eylon explains.

This data, he continues, “is overlaid with all the psychographic and demographic information.” From the size of the party to the type of getaway, Longwoods gave Explore Asheville specific breakdowns on who was visiting the city, why and for how long.

One key finding was that most visitors to Asheville were daytrippers: Only 34 percent stayed overnight, and 58 percent of those who did said they’d been influenced by marketing efforts. Overall, the top five activities cited by those overnight visitors were shopping, visiting a landmark or historic site, eating out at fine dining establishments, visiting national or state parks and hiking or backpacking.

Not surprisingly, that information has made its way into Asheville’s marketing campaigns: Visitors holding shopping bags are shown strolling down Wall Street or cruising through a local market; time-lapse videos capture clouds rolling in over the mountains; shots of Biltmore Estate flash across the screen; backpackers wander among blooming rhododendrons; revelers patronize rooftop bars overlooking downtown.
Full story here.