Research Helps Increase Idaho Tourism

Once in Idaho, visitors spend much of their time shopping.

By: By Naomi Kahlon

While visiting friends and relatives is the top reason given for coming to Idaho, The Idaho Division of Tourism and Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce has realized that once in Idaho, tourists spend much of their time shopping. As a result, the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce has designed a campaign targeting neighboring states that appears to be bringing tourists in increasing numbers.

Results from an online survey conducted by Longwoods International Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2008, announced at the Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism earlier this month in Sun Valley, reveal that the primary purpose of leisure travel to the area is to visit friends and relatives, with visiting the outdoors, touring and attending a special event falling next in line.

Further information gathered includes travel trends, day versus overnight trips, travel purpose, business versus leisure trips and family versus individual trips. Research also showed how much the average Idaho tourist spends on lodging, meals, retail purchases, recreation and transportation.

“What came out loud and clear was that outdoor recreation is one of the very top reasons people travel to Idaho,” Zibell-Wolfe said. “Once here, however, their top activity is shopping. Retail benefits as well as restaurants, national parks and historical settings.”

A spike in tourism generally occurs in June, July and August when residents bring relatives and friends to Coeur d’Alene for its natural beauty.

North Idaho is a “drive market destination” said traveler Marlies Kuetgens of Seattle. With increasing gasoline prices prompting tourists to drive fewer miles, she hopes the drive market will “come more and stay more often.”

“We are pleased with the findings by Longwoods International showing a small increase in market share for 2008. It helps us measure our effectiveness and make sure we are targeting the best potential traveler,” said Karen Ballard, administrator for the Division of Tourism. “It helps us measure our effectiveness and make sure we are targeting the best potential traveler. The findings indicate that we are on the right track.”


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