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ASU Professor, Students Conduct Art in the Park Tourism Impact Assessment for Blowing Rock Chamber

Aug. 20, 2014. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce has conducted a tourism impact and assessment of the Art in the Park event in partnership with Appalachian State University faculty member Dr. Carrie Bush and a team of Appalachian State students.

The assessment was compiled from self-reported data by event attendees across two Art in the Park events in the 2013 season.

The purpose of this assessment is to identify key tourism and economic patterns of the event, including successful advertising mechanisms, attendees’ place of residence, lodging information, and amount spent during the visit.

In total, 525 surveys from event attendees contributed to the assessment.

Key findings of the 2013 Art in the Park survey indicate:

Art in the Park has a loyal returning base of event-goers, but also attracts new attendees. 35.3 percent of survey respondents indicate it was their first time attending Art in the Park, while 64.7 percent state they have attended previously.

In addition, 88 percent of respondents reported having visited the High Country previously. A returning customer base is a strong advantage for the event that speaks to the quality of previous attendee experiences.

The event draws mostly non-local patrons, which is a boost for local tourism.  72.2 percent of the respondents surveyed indicate that they were visitors to Blowing Rock while 25.5 percent indicate that they were residents, and another 2.3 percent reported being “part-time” or “other.”

Events such as Art in the Park which bring non-local patrons into the community present tourism opportunities that can leverage the cultural, natural, and historical features of the area, while also contributing the local economy.

Many visitors stay overnight in the immediate area and the average per party spending is a reported $461.67.

The average number of nights that visitors reported staying in the High Country was 1.6 nights, with the majority of attendees staying overnight either in Blowing Rock (46.1 percent) or Boone (13.5 percent).

Further, the amount of attendee spending on lodging, food, crafts and souvenirs varied with the average spending equaling $461.67 per travel party.

For a copy of the report, or for further information, please contact the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.