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PGAV Destinations commissioned H2R Market Research for a nationwide study to detect and evaluate the shifting priorities of today’s attractions visitors and how their needs and wants drive their behavior. The data revealed numerous, surprising trends in how people view, plan for, and react to their world as they travel throughout the country.

Having passed through the crucible of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, travel consumers are back on the road. But they are wiser, seek greater value, and are more sensitive to pain points than ever before. PGAV Destinations’ latest research compares recent findings to pre-recession studies to track key shifts in consumer behavior in the post-recession era.


According to the findings, when people first start to think about visiting a destination, there are specific associations and intentions that impulsively come to mind. At the very forefront of this pre- meditation are three, powerful emotional drivers: reconnect with my loved ones, please the people I care about, and have fun together. As they begin to research and decide how best to achieve these motivations, they seek out practical activities they need to engage in when on site. Tese include shopping, dining, attractions, and interactivity. Ensuring your destination can attend to these top emotional drivers which are being realized through practical experiences can greatly strengthen your visitor experience.

Troughout the research, respondents were quite clear in identifying their top needs to feel satisfied with their attraction visit. Te five most important needs, in

order of priority, were a quality product; value for the dollar; a safe, worry-free experience; relaxation; and a unique experience that’s out of the ordinary. When defining value, guests look to the affordability, quality, safety, and relaxation offered by the experience – it’s not just about the dollars.

So what’s changed since the beginning of the recession? At the top of the list rests their increased interest in relaxing opportunities. In a recent American Psychological Association’s ‘Stress in America’ report, it’s suggested that the struggling U.S. economy is helping generate an over-stressed population; aware of their unhealthy levels of stress, but simply too busy to foster a work/life balance and engage in healthy activities – a vicious cycle keeping them in high-stress mode (and generally unhealthy, both physically and mentally). Tis insight provides a

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