Hotel Online Special Report

 Major Research Study for the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority Released
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - May 3, 1999 - SA&A DIRECT, the marketing consulting and research division of Smith Advertising & Associates, announced today the completion of a major research study for the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. The study analyzes current national advertising placements and their effectiveness in drawing visitors to Asheville and the surrounding area. 
The ultimate goal of the project is to more efficiently use accommodations tax dollars by creating a marketing program that will bring more outside money into the Asheville area. This money will come from visitors who, for example, visit Biltmore Estate, eat lunch and stay in a local bed & breakfast, and visit Chimney Rock for a hiking trip the next day.
"The end result of the research is that we learned almost 44% of all inquiries made about Asheville and its attractions result in people visiting our area,"; said Shelly Green, vice president and executive director of the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Knowing information such as this enables us to work with Smith Advertising to allocate our marketing budget in the most effective way;.whether that's with Internet marketing or with advertising in a national print travel magazine."
Major benefits gained by the Convention and Visitors Bureau due to the study are:
  • A streamlined approach to advertising that details specifically where ad dollars are best used to reach goals. This is made possible because the study provides information about conversion rates for specific publications.
  • An answer as to which media is the most effective for attracting visitors to the Asheville area, i.e., national magazine ads, TV, radio, cooperative advertising, Internet, etc.
  • Demographic information on visitors that assists in targeting, developing and delivering creative messages, i.e., from which state(s) visitors are traveling to Asheville, the number of children they have, etc.
 The project links and analyzes data gathered from inquiries about Asheville in 15 disparate databases. Using the latest computer technology and software, SA&A DIRECT provides information in this study with up to a 99 percent confidence level. This means that the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau can make hard and fast decisions about marketing plans for FY 2000 based on the data gathered. 
SA&A DIRECT has isolated details as specific as:
  • Time of year people visit Asheville
  • Range of activities that draw them there
  • Duration and location of overnight stay
  • Size of travel party
  • Estimated daily expenditures while in Asheville as compared to advertising expenditures used in reaching that particular audience
  • Side trips that were taken in conjunction with travel to Asheville
  • Primary reasons visitors travel to Asheville.
About Smith Advertising & Associates

Headquartered in Fayetteville, NC, since 1974, Smith Advertising & Associates is one of the top agencies in the Southeast. The agency provides high-level strategic marketing counsel and comprehensive advertising programs to companies that market domestically and internationally. Smith Advertising's cross-market expertise encompasses all sectors of Fortune 1000 businesses including hospitality and tourism, real estate, manufacturing, health care, financial services and information technology.

Gary Smith 
Smith Advertising & Associates
Also See: Jim France, Grove Park Inn Resort VP & GM, Details $24 million, 18-month Improvement Plan / Including Addition of 40,000 square foot Spa / Nov 1998 

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