Resident Sentiment in the New Year: from Aware to Informed to Ally

By: Andreas Weissenborn, Destinations International

Happy 2022, we are back with our fourth iteration on our resident sentiment study with our partners at Longwoods International. While being our 2nd edition through the pandemic, it remains a committed tactical approach to being a community shared value by listening to your number one customer, the resident. For 2021, not only did we continue fielding our largest respondent count of residents, we also expanded north to Canada and added two new topics including employment and workforce attraction to the study. Amir Eylon and I sat down this past week to discuss the findings and we are happy to present some key big takeaways from the study. 

First, some findings that carried over from the year prior: 

  • Our residents agree the benefits of tourism outweigh the negatives. 

  • We overwhelmingly support tourism growth but there is room to improve resident inclusion in the planning process. 

  • However, even among those informed about the tourism industry, they predominately do not see the industry as a creator of high-paying jobs. 

  • When residents are informed about travel and tourism, their support for funding, development, and overall growth of the industry increases significantly. 

  • Residents largely favor government support and funding for tourism promotion, while there is an opportunity to grow the level of this support. 

Positivity varies depending on the border 

Even though both countries provide a level of majority in agreement of tourism being good for their province/state/locality, it is the Canadians who overwhelmingly agree on the positive influence tourism has on their area. 

Chart depicting sentiment towards tourism

Chart depicting sentiment regarding local tourism

Our residents still feel left out in the development of tourism

Informed residents come to value our work yet are rarely consulted around the development of tourism in their area. This presents an important opportunity for us in the destination space to bring residents to the table for all key opportunities of tourism and the visitor economy of their community. 

Chart depicting sentiment regarding tourism development and growth

We need to talk about GenZ

The demographic split of our study illustrates another key opportunity for destination organizations: the engagement and involvement of the Gen Z of their community. No other demographic produced as apathetic results as Gen Z polled across work, workforce, and workplace related to tourism. They are quickly coming into the major buying power of the market, behind millennials, and now is the time to engage. 

Chart depicting sentiment regarding career advancement in the tourism industry

Chart depicting sentiment on tourism attracting new residents

We will be releasing much more with our upcoming white papers on the topic so please make sure to come back to our blog for the latest and greatest. 

About the Author

Andreas WeissenbornVice President of Research and AdvocacyDestinations International

About the Author

Introduced to the industry by a random internship application to Visit Baltimore, Andreas began an unexpected career that left him with a continued passion towards tourism. He leads the research and advocacy efforts of the entire organization with an eye towards developing data-driven tools to help destinations around the world tell their story.

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