Destination Visitor Counts - Which Metrics Work Best for You
How many people visit our destination? This is an age-old question asked of destination marketers and researchers on a regular basis. Short of having a turnstile at the entrance to each state, region or city, visitation to any geography can only be estimated. The question then becomes how to do that.
There are a variety of metrics for counting visitors, and each will tell you something different about your guests. The metric you choose depends on how you want to describe visitation to your destination. Keep in mind this may change depending on a specific circumstance. The most important metric for any destination is the amount of money generated by visitors, and the metric you choose will have an impact on how spending is calculated.
There are two basic metrics for counting visitors: Trips and Stays. Trips count unique visits to a destination, while Stays count all visits, whether or not they are unique. For example, if a travel party visits three cities within a state, it is counted as one Trip to the state, but three Stays to the state. The assumption is that it doesn’t matter who the people are; what matters is the number of visits or Stays. Note that at the city level, Trips and Stays are virtually the same metric.
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