Thursday, December 03, 2009

Third Party Analysis of Visitor Spending
in Durham NC

Thanks to a partnership with D. K. Shifflet and IHS Global Insights, DCVB is able to benchmark the spending by visitors while in Durham, using the more accurate ImPlan Input-Output methodology.

There are some interesting shifts mostly up, but one down, between ’04 (when Durham fully emerged from the effects of 9/11) and 2008 before the full effects of the downturn.

  • Lodging is getting better at yield management and systematically increasing rates as demand increases (which of course have now been deflated.) The piece of the visitor spending pie in Durham increased from 18% to 21%.

  • Food and Beverage, the largest portion of overall spending while visitors are in Durham kept pace at 25%.

  • Of concern is that shopping--the largest activity by visitors nationwide--dropped in Durham both in real terms and as a proportion of visitor spending here from 21% to 18%, a sign that Durham visitors are being harvested by new centers close to Durham denying Durham retail businesses of their full due and local government of tax revenues.

  • Entertainment increased its portion of overall Durham visitor spending from 16% to nearly 18%, and this was really before the new DPAC had effect. Many Durham entertainment features are free-of-charge which makes this area lower than it could be.

  • And overall, visitor spending in Durham expanded by 11% between ’04 and ’08 confirming that Durham is drawing more visitors, who are circulating and spending more while they are here.

DCVB conducts this analysis every other year but in the interim years it is able to project the results within 1/10 of 1%. Not bad.

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