Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Durham Visitation Tops 9 Million in 2012 - Part 1

According to data recently released by D.K. Shifflet and Associates, Durham hosted just over 9 million visitors in 2012, the largest number since measurement began more than a decade ago.

*in Millions
Almost 30% of these visitors, or 2.64 million, were here for business purposes including meetings and conventions.

The remaining 6.37 million were in Durham for leisure and personal reasons.

This represents an increase of 15.8% over 2011 when 7.77 million visitors came to Durham.  Overall visitation in the United States grew by 5.4% during this same period.

The largest growth was in leisure travel which grew 20.9%.  Business travel grew a modest 5.6%.

"I'm very pleased with the data," said Shelly Green, DCVB's President & CEO.  "Because business travel has been on a long slow decline, not keeping pace with the growth in overall travel, we've been putting more emphasis in marketing to leisure travelers," she said. "These numbers demonstrate a great return on that investment," she added.

*in Millions
To put this into perspective, 15 years ago, in 1997, there were 1.74 million business travelers to Durham and 3.15 leisure and personal visitors, for a total of 4.89 million.

However, growth in the number of people travelling to Durham for leisure and personal reasons has far outpaced growth on the business side.

That trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Next up in Part 2:  A closer look at the data, specifically looking at the type of travel, whether day visitation or overnight travel.

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