LuAnn in our office loves research. No, I mean, she loves it. She's passionate about it. Which makes for some really good data in our office. Ever curious about just who travels Iowa, how long they stay and what they do while they're here? LuAnn knows and she's sharing...
Q. Who is an Iowa traveler?
A. The Iowa Tourism Office considers anyone traveling more than 50 miles in one direction a traveler. (So, yes, it is possible to be a traveler in your home state.) Those travelers spent more than $6.1 billion in Iowa during 2009.
Q. Who are the travelers planning a trip to Iowa?
A. Families traveling together are planning visits to Iowa with children under and over eighteen. For adults: adults traveling with other adults, families without children, retired travelers and individuals/friends.
Q. How old are they?
A. The average age of the trip planner is 50.7.
Q. Where do they come from?
A. Iowans account for 19% of the people planning a trip to Iowa. Travelers from our border states of Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin were 34% of the planners.
Q. What are their plans while traveling Iowa?
A. Nearly 80% are planning a vacation/leisure trip (68%) or a weekend getaway (11%). Only about 10% are traveling to visit their friends and family.
Q. Where are they planning to stay?
A. Nearly 70% will stay in a hotel/motel while in Iowa. Camping is also popular. Nearly 30% of the Iowans are planning day trip with no lodging involved.
Q. What are their interest areas?
A. High on their list to visit are historical areas, scenic byways, plus national and state parks. Low on their list is visiting friends and family (16%).
Q. Did they come?
A. Of those we surveyed, 91% took a trip, and averaged 2.6 trips to Iowa, staying an average of two nights.
Q. Bottom line, how much did they spend?
A. They spent an average of $457 per trip per travel party.
Jessica O'Riley, Iowa Tourism Office
To learn more about Iowa's travelers and about the marketing research studies available from the Iowa Tourism Office, visit http://bit.ly/bPcoPp. You'll find summaries and full studies readily available.
Sources: Iowa Trip Planning 2010 Report; 2010 Marketing Follow-up Study and the 2009 Economic Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties.