The typical visitor to Utah last summer stayed 6.7 days and 5.7 nights and traveled in a group of 3.5 people who together spent $490.96 while they were here. Oh, and chances are they were from California.
Those are the results of a just-released study commissioned by Utah's five travel regions to determine the success of recent Travel Council advertising campaigns in print and broadcast media.The study indicated that the campaign brought in $9 million in new tourism revenue, a return of $8.53 per every tax dollar spent on the ad campaign.
According to Gary Cadez, president and senior research associate at Cadwest, this latest study was not a full-blown examination of all Utah tourists. Rather it was a detailed survey of individuals who responded to the ad campaign.
Cadwest chose at random about 6,500 people who had requested information on Utah tourism after viewing direct-response television ads or reading color ads in various magazines. The total number surveyed by Cadwest represented 10 percent of the total number who requested more information after viewing the ads.
Cadwest then mailed each a four-page questionnaire with detailed questions on whether they came to Utah, where they went and how much they spent.
"It delved into every facet of Utah visitation," Cadez said.
The top three tourist destinations were the Great Salt Lake, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Californians made up 35 percent of the visitor population.
The state's most popular attractions were national parks, mountains and national monuments. Favorite activities were sightseeing (95 percent), hiking (50.7 percent), picnicking (42.3 percent) and camping (41.6 percent).
This latest study was different than past studies. Most studies try to deal with all visitors and total revenue, regardless of whether they would have come to Utah if they hadn't seen an advertisement.
The new study dealt with just those people who were influenced to come to Utah because of the campaign who otherwise would not have visited the state.
"The net figures are a much more realistic measure of success," Cadez said. "It targets the new dollars coming into the state."