Research

Visit Williamsburg's third-party research partner is Strategic Marketing and Research Insights (SMARI), an Indianapolis-based full-service research firm with a focus on travel and tourism. The organization has more than 33 years of proven experience, having worked with 20 state tourism organizations, 38 convention and visitors bureaus, and 23 attractions. 

SMARI is responsible for the development and execution of a comprehensive research program, including consumer perception, ad effectiveness/return on investment, monthly trend newsletter, consumer sentiment, and more. 
 
Traveler Focus Group Summary

Visit Williamsburg’s research partner, SMARI, and advertising agency, Connelly Partners, conducted nine focus groups in May of 2020. The objectives were to explore the behaviors and underlying emotions that drive domestic destination considerations, identify common journey points, sources and sequences, and explore the effects that COVID-19 has had on anticipated travel plans. Read the full summary here

 
2019 Advertising Effectiveness & Return on Investment (ROI) Study

The Williamsburg Tourism Council influenced more than 350,000 trips to the destination in 2019 with its paid promotions. This resulted in more than $400 million in influenced visitor spending, or $86 for every $1 spent on marketing. Read the full summary here.

 

Travel Trends Newsletter

2021

April

March

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January

 

2020

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November

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September

August

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June

May

April

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January

 

COVID-related Leisure Traveler Sentiment 

Visit Williamsburg’s research partner, SMARI, has completed research to gauge traveler sentiment during COVID-19. Findings include, that more consumers are looking forward to taking road trips as the outlook continues to improve. View the full reports below from 2020:

May 26

April 17 

March 23