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Zartico Insights to Outcomes

Insights to Outcomes- TTRA

Ted Sullivan
Jul 19, 2022 9:43:32 AM


Research is the difference between an idea and realization. The tourism industry is always coming up with new ideas. Most recently, the industry is focused on the ability to demonstrate a destination organization’s overall effectiveness on the visitor economy. The realization is that we need our research community to help verify and endorse any findings. Without the data and insights from the research community, we’re just another industry with an opinion. 

Finally able to get back together, the tourism industry research community gathered on Victoria Island, British Columbia to share what they’ve learned and how much they’ve evolved with the new insights now available to the tourism industry. It was hard to tell if the research professionals were more excited about seeing each other after so long or for the new data stories they were about to share with their peers. We were a group of happy insights nerds in Canada that week. 

Zartico co-presented with Visit North Carolina. Our goal was to show how a State Tourism Office and its destination partners could share and learn from each other with real-time insights to make better decisions for the State. What festivals brought in the most out-of-state visitors to the Outer Banks? How can the State work with Charlotte to help increase leisure flights to the international airport? Who only stops for gasoline in the State compared to who dines and stays overnight? By answering these questions North Carolina provided realization of what is next for the State and how to best respond to each query. This research is different, it’s paying attention to what visitors and residents actually do and not just what they say.

Visit North Carolina Visitors are changing their behaviors and going back into the State’s urban areas and are spending more. The State can now change some creative strategies, work with their cities and focus on quality not quantity.


Sea Planes Sea Planes fly at only a few thousand feet above the ground and landing on water is very trippy. You can facetime your daughter while flying over the islands and make her think you’re crashing into the sea. They DO NOT LIKE when you do that.
Visit Jackson County The number two visitor market of Raleigh was spending 85% of their money on gasoline and not in the towns. No longer spend valuable marketing dollars in Raleigh.

Visit Victoria

Victoria Canada The waters around the island have almost 100 killer whales swimming around and most have names the residents all know. Try not to look like a seal when you go for a swim.
 Connected Sample Size The tourism industry actually has some of the biggest and most useful sample sizes out of ANY industry. We as an industry need to improve our narrative of highlighting how strong our numbers are for showcasing the impact of tourism on the visitor economy.


I’m a marketer who appreciates and respects research to help us improve our data-led decisions. The content at TTRA’s Annual International Conference was encouraging as it showed how far our industry has come in a few short years. Tourism will continue to adapt and thrive with whatever obstacles are thrown our way,.. To sustain longevity you have to evolve. After all, if we knew what we were doing it would not be called research, would it?

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