State Travel Data Shows Increase of Visitors but Decrease in Market Share

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Tony D'Agostino, the Research Director at the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism presented travel-related data during a Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Tony D’Agostino, the Research Director at the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism presented travel-related data during a Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday.

CENTERVILLE – According to tourism data from the state, the region is seeing an increase in the number of visitors but losing market share.

Tony D’Agostino, the research director at the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, presented recent data Wednesday at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce’s Sandy Neck Conference Room in Centerville.

“More people are traveling but they are tending to shift their travel to places other than New England,” said Wendy Northcross, the CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

D’Agostino said that Massachusetts saw 1.5 million overseas visitors in 2014 which was up from 1.25 million visitors in 2009, which is a 20 percent increase but during the same period the market share has decreased by 17 percent.

Florida and other states are marketing cultural tourism overseas.

“We’re finding out that the southeast quardrant of the United States is pushing that,” D’Agostino said. “They are also pushing country music.”

The South Atlantic area of the country saw an increase of market share from overseas visitors of 4.4 percent from 2010 to 2014 and the west south central area saw a 12 percent increase during the same time period.

Northcross said getting a strong return on investment when it comes to marketing the region is ideal.

“Our marketing budget in the last year was actually was restored from recent cuts,” Northcorss said.

The state travel office took a recent cut in their budget.

“You can see when you have this push-pull of inconsistent years of marketing it will show up in the visitation pattern,” Northcross said.

D’Agostino said the early numbers for 2015 are showing a strong year of tourism for the state.

Travel data through October shows that state room tax collections are up 9.3 percent with local room tax collections up 9.4 percent, along with the state meals tax up 5.8 percent.

The Massachusetts Bureau of Labor statistics said hospitality jobs had increased by 3.3 percent.

Domestic travel to the state was up 10 percent through October and overseas visits were up 8.5 percent through May.

Visitors to the state and in particular, the Cape have expressed satisfaction with their trip.

Survey results showed that 90 percent of visitors to the state in 2014 were very or extremely satisfied with their experience.

On the Cape and Islands that number increased to 94 percent.

“People that did take a vacation to Cape Cod were extremely happy with their vacation,” Northcross said. “They got well served. They enjoyed it. They are likely to come back.”

People surveyed who considered a trip to the region but decided to travel elsewhere where only 75 percent satisfied with their experience.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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