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Survey Reports on the Effects on the Local Hospitality Industry Following
the Jimmy Buffett Gulf Coast, Alabama Concert Held July 1, 2010

 

Hoteliers Surveyed Show High Rates of Room Occupancy, 
Optimism for Future Concerts 

McLean, VA, 07/21/10 – The Knowland Group, the world’s largest data firm in the global meetings and conventions industry, today released a survey on the effects of the Jimmy Buffett Gulf Coast Benefit Concert on the local hospitality industry. The survey, conducted two weeks after the concert was completed, found many hotels within 75 miles of Gulf Shores, AL were booked, but future reservations failed to materialize. 

Specifically, of the hotels surveyed, 49% reported that more than half of their guests who stayed at their hotel attended the concert. In addition, 45% of responding hotels stated that less than half of their guests attended the concert. Of those concert attendees, 41% stayed one night and 53% stayed two nights; making up for the evaporation of the usual weekend vacationers following the oil spill. 
“I saw people in line at the bars and the souvenir shops,” stated an Orange Beach, AL hotelier. “This concert was the greatest thing we [sic] ever had in our area.” 

The increase in room bookings was welcomed by the surveyed hoteliers, with 89% claiming the event was very helpful to their business and 11% stating it was somewhat helpful. None of the survey’s respondents stated that the concert had any ill effect. 
“I even had a waiting list for my hotel and I can’t remember the last time that happened”, noted one Gulf Shores hotelier. 

Despite the influx of concert goers, future vacationers still are avoiding the Gulf Coast. 59% of hoteliers stated they have seen a decrease in future room bookings. None of the hotels surveyed have seen an increase in future room bookings after the concert had been completed. 

As for additional efforts to draw tourists to the region, concerts have been the most successful attraction according to 53% of hoteliers surveyed. Advertising campaigns conducted by state and local tourism bureaus aimed at attracting in-state and out-of-state tourists were seen as effective by 15% and 17% of hoteliers respectively. 

There is one group hoteliers universally agree that is not helpful to their efforts to attract visitors - the news media. 89% of respondents stated that the media has been very hurtful to generating business and 11% replied that the media was somewhat hurtful. This sentiment is best summarized by one Gulf Shores hotelier who stated: “The media has damaged our area and what they fail to state is [that] our beaches are still as beautiful as they’ve always been.” 

This Knowland survey was conducted over a two day period from July 19-20, 2010. The full survey results can be found below. 

1. What proportion of guests did you have at stay your hotel for the recent Jimmy Buffet Gulf Coast Benefit Concert? 

a. All of my guests attended the concert – 11% 
b. A majority of my guests attended the concert – 22% 
c. About half of my guests attended the concert – 16% 
d. Less than half of my guests attended the concert – 45% 
e. None of my guests attended the concert – 6% 

2. How many nights did those guests who attended the concert stay at your hotel? 

a. 1 nights – 41% 
b. 2 nights – 53% 
c. 3 nights – 6% 
d. 4 nights – 0% 
e. 5 or more nights – 0% 

3. Since the concert has been held, what has been the effect on your hotels bookings? 

a. Large increase in future bookings – 0% 
b. Some increase in future bookings – 0% 
c. No Change – 41% 
d. Some decrease in future bookings – 35% 
e. Large decrease in future bookings – 24% 

4. In your opinion, how helpful was the Gulf Coast benefit concert to your business? 

a. Very helpful to my hotel’s business – 89% 
b. Somewhat helpful to my hotel’s business – 11% 
c. It has no effect on my hotel’s business – 0% 
d. Somewhat unhelpful to my hotel’s business – 0% 
e. Very unhelpful to my hotel’s business – 0% 

5. What actions that outside groups are undertaking are most helpful to your hotel? 

a. Benefit concerts – 53% 
b. Travel and Tourism Advertisements in your state – 15% 
c. Travel and Tourism Advertisements outside of your state – 17% 
d. Group volunteer trips to clean up the coast – 15% 
e. Other actions – 0% 

6. How has media coverage of the beach conditions near your hotel affected your business? 

a. Very helpful to generating business – 0% 
b. Somewhat helpful to generating business – 0% 
c. No effect on hotel business – 0% 
d. Somewhat hurtful to generating business – 11% 
e. Very hurtful to generating business – 89% 
 

About The Knowland Group The Knowland Group is a proven innovator, developing intuitive marketing products and services that streamline and support event and group sales in the hospitality industry. The company, headquartered in McLean, VA serves over 2,000 hotel clients and 17,000 users globally. Recently featured on the Inc. Fast 500 List, The Knowland Group is the second fastest growing company in the travel industry. For more information, visit www.KnowlandGroup.com, call 410-860-2270 or follow us on Twitter @knowlandgroup.

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Contact: 

Tom Crosson, Communications Manager 
The Knowland Group 
(703) 869-1246 
tcrosson@KnowlandGroup.com
 

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Also See: Latest Knowland Survey Shows Silver Lining in Cleanup Crews; Hoteliers surveyed show increase in transient bookings, take wait and see attitude on $20 billion BP claims fund / July 2010
The Knowland Group Releases Oil Spill Survey Findings Following Memorial Day; Increased Cancellations, Increased Impact as Spill Magnifies / June 2010
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