TRAVEL AND TOURISM Trends for the City of Aspen Falls Metro Area By Todd Austin September 21, 2018 The City of Aspen Falls Tourism Department in cooperation with the City of Aspen Falls Chamber of Commerce surveyed random tourists1 about their visit to City of Aspen Falls. Other key indicators were assembled from public records. These include airport arrivals and departures and room tax revenues. From this analysis trends, demographics, and recommendations are provided in this report. TRENDS The number of people visiting City of Aspen Falls grew about 10% last year, and for the first time topped the 1 million mark. Over the past 10 years, spending by convention and event attendees has risen consistently. However, this past year saw a decrease in business tourist spending of 4%. This decline was offset by an increase in spending from leisure visitors. Overall, spending by business and leisure tourists increased by over 9%. DEMOGRAPHICS The study shows that 60% of City of Aspen Falls tourists are from California— resident visitors. Further, non-resident tourists: Stay longer than resident visitors. Are slightly older than resident visitors. Have a higher average household income than resident visitors. A tourist is any person staying for one or more nights in the City of Aspen Falls metro area outside of their regular residence. A tourist can be classified as either a business visitor or a leisure visitor. 1 Fly in instead of drive to City of Aspen Falls. Other studies have shown that on average, leisure visitors travel with larger parties and stay longer than business visitors. (Tribe 2011) These demographics suggest that marketing to non-resident leisure visitors would have the greatest economic impact for the City of Aspen Falls metro area. DEVELOPMENT AREAS Treating tourism as a growth industry is a recent practice. It is only in recent years that the classifications of tourism have begun to reflect specialization within the field. Currently, specialty tourism is seeing the most rapid growth with international tourism also seeing robust potential. Given its location and economy, the City of Aspen Falls metro area is best suited to market these three specialty areas: Agritourism Wildlife Tourism Sports Tourism According to the World Tourism Organization, China shows the most potential in terms of international tourism growth. (World Tourism Organization 2011). Marketing to business and leisure visitors from China is not mutually exclusive of the specialty areas listed previously. SUMMARY The economic benefits from promoting agritourism, wildlife tourism, and sports tourism would have a significant impact on the local economy. Jobs would be created as the city and local organizations enhance the visitor experience on local farms, ranches, and wineries. Wildlife conservation areas attract more visitors while providing a benefit to local residents. Finally, improving venues for playing sports and organizing sporting events creates jobs and invites both resident and non-resident visitors.