The Lake Placid Regional Office Of Sustainable Tourism has released a survey showing that visitors to Essex County and the Adirondack region over the past year are more “outdoorsy”, traveled in larger parties and stayed fewer nights.
The 2011 Leisure Travel Study is the ninth survey undertaken by Lake Placid’s accredited destination marketing organization. Conducted by an independent third party, the Regional Office Of Sustainable Tourism, or ROOST, survey of walk-in, phone and mail inquiries in 2011 found the average stay was 2.8 nights, down from a five year average of 4 nights. The average adult party size increased slightly from 2010, and outdoor activities remained the main attraction. ROOST President Jim McKenna says they are still evaluating the overall results.
McKenna says the surveys are compared to a five year average, and he hopes the shorter stays are not a new trend.
McKenna says the survey reinforces that the attraction to the region is the connection to the Adirondacks.
The Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors’ Bureau is in Wilmington NY, at the base of Whiteface Mountain. Bureau Operations Manager Michelle Burns says families are planning shorter stays.
Burns says those shorter stays by tourists are worrisome, but expected.
A unique aspect of the survey is that about 10-percent of the responses came from social media users. Jim McKenna believes they are one of the only travel organizations with this type of travel data.
The Regional Office Of Sustainable Tourism promotes the Lake Placid, Schroon Lake, Saranac Lake, Whiteface and Lake Champlain regions.