How many people are visiting the Finger Lakes? A lot.
The results of a comprehensive consumer behavior study were unveiled this week. The study was conducted by Travel Marketing Insights, on behalf of Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (FLTA).
The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance commissioned the study to collect more information about the 14 county, 9,000 square mile state designated Finger Lakes tourism region and learn more about consumer visitor habits, industry trends, and thought processes about the travel and tourism industry as a whole. Funding for this study was secured by Senator Tom O’Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and other state representatives.
It was found that, in 2018, the Finger Lakes Region saw 5.56 million visitors. 4.86 million of those visitors were termed “leisure visitors”, meaning those who were not traveling for business purposes. These visitors were found to stay in the area for an average of 3.4 days and 2.4 nights and spent a combined $2.432 billion. 81% of visitors said that the FLTA information directly influenced their decision making when choosing specific attractions to visit during their stay. Nearly two thirds of visitors chose to extend their stay in the area based on FLTA information. The full study results can be found on fingerlakes.org.
“There was a clear and present need to conduct updated research,” says Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance President, Cindy Kimble. The last time a regional research study was conducted of this nature with many of the same key stakeholders was back in 2007 with the Randall Study comprised and released in April of that year. “With updated metrics, changes within the tourism landscape, and an ever changing model for how the visitor and locals plan, strategize, and execute travel habit, the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance Board of Directors recognized the dire need for updated research and data to both grow the Alliance as well acquire a better understanding of how to help area businesses within the economy of tourism at a larger scale.”