In August 2016, Stoke Strategy presented Visit Spokane with the results of their visitor research. Their research covered both the leisure and convention visitor.

For the leisure segment, Stoke surveyed 963 travelers online that were open to spend $500 and had taken an overnight trip or will willing to take an overnight trip in the region. The results of the survey provided us with four key takeaways:

1. We need to address negative perceptions of safety.
2. We need to differentiate between our diverse food and restaurant scene and by showing how easy Spokane is to travel to and within.
3. We need to continue to deliver on shopping and having a variety of events and festivals.
4. We need to tailor our message to different draw markets.

For the meeting and convention planners segment, Stoke conducted 19 in-depth interviews with meeting planners. Of the 19 planners interviewed, nine had booked in Spokane in the past, and ten had never scheduled in Spokane. The results of the survey provided us with five key takeaways:

1. We need to focus on brand identity.
2. Recognizable accommodations are important.
3. We need to combat perceptions of accessibility.
4. We need to leverage Spokane’s walkability.
5. We need to improve the planners’ experience at the convention center.

Lastly, the critical issues and opportunities identified in the research were as follows:

Don’t have a significant negative image to overcome

Magic is in the bundle: Essential ingredients are in place

Lacking signature, iconic attraction

Very few image associations that create liking enable recall or condition familiarity

Frustrated by a sense of place – perceived as rainy, wet, boring, small, remote

Low advocacy & momentum

Relative lack of strength in competitor brands

Click HERE to view the full research, data and presentation.