Competition within the tourism industry is fierce. Individual destinations and the thousands of businesses within each destination have always competed aggressively for the visitors’ dollars. In recent years, other entities — cruise lines, timeshares, vacation packagers and online travel engines — have increased the level of competition. The Internet has fueled much of this increase competition, giving the consumer a wealth of information and access to make vacation purchases. Consumers do not have to plan as far ahead as in past years, and businesses are increasingly competitive when positioning their vacation experience online.
While the Grand Strand is a popular vacation destination, there are many travelers who do not consider our destination when planning their next vacation. The graph below shows the percentage of people who ranked Myrtle Beach as one of the three (3) destinations they would most like to visit in the next year. This survey, completed by Equations Research LLC, surveyed likely travelers in ten states (GA, VA, WV, MD, OH, PA, NJ, NY, TN, KY) 40% of likely travelers in these states identified Myrtle Beach as one of their top three most desired destinations to visit.
Previous surveys have yielded similar results, indicating 3 out of 5 likely travelers consider other destinations for their next vacation. To convert these travelers to Myrtle Beach visitors, three key objectives must be accomplished:
The first two objectives, ‘consideration’ (i.e. getting on the radar) and ‘differentiation’ are paramount to attracting new visitors. Once the destination has differentiated itself, individual businesses can capitalize upon the opportunity. But it requires a destination marketer to accomplish the first two objectives, as individual businesses cannot usually accomplish that without a broad, destination appeal.
Promoters can measure the direct economic impact of their advertising using a conversion study and/or an economic impact study. These are completed by independent economists/researchers who evaluate the advertisement/promotion placed, the response by consumers, and the ultimate economic benefit of those tourists that responded to advertising and visited the destination.
The MBACC hired Equation Research, a highly-skilled research firm, to independently evaluate the impact of the organization's advertising. Copies of the 2009 through 2015 conversion/economic impact studies can be viewed by clicking on the links below: