Study Reveals Why Visitors Come to Tallahassee

Study Reveals Why Visitors Come to Tallahassee

A 2018 visitor tracking report completed by the consulting firm Downs & St. Germain Research reveals that the main reason people visit Tallahassee is for a business meeting or conference. This is followed by those who visit to see friends or relatives.

The tracking report was designed to develop a profile of travel parties to Tallahassee. Characteristics in this profile include the size, length of stay, motivation for visiting Tallahassee, likelihood of returning and a demographic profile of visitors.

The study reports that most visitors travel alone (53%), stay in a hotel (60%), have been here before (85%) and say they will return (78%).

Approximately 55% of visitors report a household income over $100,000 and 76% are college graduates.

The report was generated using 474 surveys gathered during 2018. View the full report here.

The information below shows that 36% of respondents indicated they visit Tallahassee for a “business conference or meeting.” This is followed by “visit friends and relatives” (29%) and “education-related visit” (12%).

For comparison purposes, a Tampa area report in 2017 indicated that
39% of all visitors were visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and 10% were on business travel.

Other respondent selections in the Tallahassee study included “family vacation” (5%), “watch a sporting event” (3%) and “attractions” (1%).

The category most related to eco-tourism, “nature, environment, bird-watching”, came it at 1%.

Reasons for Visiting*

Business conference or meeting 36%
Visit friends and relatives 29%
Education-related visit 12%
Special occasion 7%
Government related, including legislature 6%
Family vacation 5%
Watch a sporting event 3%
Special event 3%
Relax and unwind 3%
Attractions 1%
Participate in a sporting event 1%
Nature, environment, bird watching, etc. 1%
Shopping, antiquing 1%
Other 15%

*Multiple responses permitted

20 Responses to "Study Reveals Why Visitors Come to Tallahassee"

  1. I imagine most are here to eat, purchase fuel, and possibly stay the night before heading to St. George, Walt Disney World, or points farther south???

  2. I don’t know what everyone is complaining about, and I think you should be careful what you wish for. We moved here from New Jersey a year ago and couldn’t be more delighted with Tallahasse. We fund it to be a very fun and young feeling city with alot to offer in terms of events, festivals here and in nearby towns, trails, you name it! There is always something going in and around Tallahassee. We went to a few brew-fests and I was so appreciativeand impressed that they didn’t oversell the tickets. The lines were short and there was no crowding, nothing like what a similar event in NJ would be like. Please, be careful what you wish for, I think that some people who live here and others, like us, who choose to live here like it just the way it is!

  3. I moved here about seventeen years ago and have watched the “city and county fathers” trying to make Tallahassee into something it can never be. Just because other metropolitan areas have certain characteristics does not mean any geographic area can emulate those features.

    Has anyone taken a realistic look at where Tallahassee is geographically located? Not to be disrespectful to smaller communities, I really love them, but to our East we have Jacksonville about 150 miles away. Not very much between us and them.

    South of us about 40 miles is nothing but the Gulf with no significant public beach area until you get to St. George island.

    To our North, for considerable miles, are open sparsely populated farming areas.

    To our West the next significantly populated area is about 200 miles away in Pensacola.

    Whether we like it or not, the harsh reality is; “There ain’t a whole heck of a lot out Tallahassee-way folks.” We’re basically out in the middle of “nowhere U.S.A.” If it wasn’t for U.S. 10 running through the area nobody would even know we’re out here.

    Tallahassee can’t and never will be anything like Austin Texas, Madison Wisconsin, Greenville South Carolina or Nashville Tennessee no matter how hard we try to copy their attributes.
    The sooner this area accepts that reality the quicker we can move forward to constructively build on the few but perhaps unique characteristics we have to offer.

    That’s the challenge our “leaders” must step up to. I believe it’s their responsibility and basically their job. Hopefully, with more commentary from the residents and perhaps some influencial people they will come to that awakening and begin to make Tallahassee the best place it was intended to or can ever become.

  4. Tallahassee cast its lot as a backwater city with its only attributes being the legislature and FSU/FAMU when, back in 1978, the local pols clucked their tongues and, under the guise of protecting local resources, let the Miller Brewery go to Albany. Lost job diversity and spin-off industry later, Tallahassee remains a backwater city with its only attributes being the legislature and FSU/FAMU.

  5. We moved from Des Moines two years ago and are mystified by the utter lack of vision that this city exhibits. What is the plan? When we contacted the Mayor’s office with our concerns and opinions all we received in reply from Mayor Daly was that he did not agree with our assessment and stated a canned response defending the beautiful City of Tallahassee. All of this only to see the Mayor and his cronies travel to another successful city to study.
    Why is this so difficult to figure out? Create an attractive business environment with tax incentives, encourage development to keep young professionals to stay in the area, make the airport attractive to several airlines with discounts on fuel and fees, etc….
    The metropolitan area deserves so much better, and should be allowed to be better.

    The longer the good ole boy network is allowed to survive and thrive, the more futile the efforts to improve the city will be. We deserve the constant mediocrity we live amongst if we keep placing the leaders of the same ilk in office. One can not expect a different result with the same actions.

  6. Those 15,000 empty seats at the Doak will remain empty as few are going to drive 600 miles over a weekend to sit on hard aluminum benches to watch mediocre football. Also very few (NO ONE) will make the drive in order to fork over $100 to play golf at the new and improved Golden Bear Memorial Country Club.

  7. lobbyist#1, family visiting students #2,academics on public dime #3. local tourism board is a boondoggle joke, tallahassee film festival to make tally a “destination location”. have these people never traveled? “dear lets skip Canne’s this year and go to tallahassee this year” said no one ever. wait i mean EVER!

  8. Having been to a tractor pull at the Civic Center, I have two observations:
    1) The voluminous smoke has nowhere to vent. So it’s like watching a boat race in the fog, except you’re breathing the exhaust.
    2) The sound system is terrible.

    As far as putting butts-in-seats though, it’s up there with country music acts.

  9. —–Original Message—–
    From: jpbandassociates
    To: steve
    Sent: Tue, Apr 16, 2019 12:18 PM
    Subject: Use Blueprint 2000 money to build a Tractor Pull stadium/ Drag Racing Tract !

    A Drag Strip Racing Track – Tractor-Pull Arena — which is needed in Tallahassee.
    John Paul Bailey

    View From Here

    Nasty phone calls poured in. Some are convinced that a Drag Race Track would not play to the Local population, even if it was Built. Some wondered aloud: “What percentage of the world are jerks?”. That’s an unanswerable question though the next day brought an estimate;
    A story about the list of projects For the Blueprint 2000 tax money. According to a local Business person “I have not found one person who would have voted for the sales tax if a Drag-Racing Track was on the list.”
    If we believe him (he said he talked to people at “churches, parties and restaurants”), then the number of jerks can be fairly estimated as: everyone he has talked to.
    The Blueprint tax, a one-cent sales tax, has made an immense difference in Tallahassee. It built Cascades Park and Franklin Boulevard. It widened Capital Circle, relieved storm water problems, saved sensitive lands and built a couple of small parks. No one can argue Blueprint 2000 has been anything less than a boon to this community.
    Now comes a bunch of people at “churches, parties and restaurants” who say they won’t have voted for another $800 million worth of improvements to the community because they don’t agree with how $4- $5 million of that amount — a mere 0.5 percent will be spent? A Drag Race Tract / Tractor Pull Stadium..
    That’s cutting off your nose to spite your face. If that doesn’t make you a jerk it raises the question.
    What is it about a drag racing track that ticks off people? In 2003 the County rejected a re-zoning request to build one on hwy 20 west of Capital Circle S.E., Subsequent efforts consistently riled a portion of the population.
    It has to be the philosophy that government should spend no money on a drag racing track even though that horse left the barn years ago with the Daytona Race Track and others.
    It has to be the belief that a drag racing track is only for regular folks or the country/western types. It has to be the belief that a race track would be used only for drag racing and tractor pulls and that somehow intrllectuals don’t care about such things.
    It has to be a form of snobbery or anti redneck or flat-out lack of information.
    No. 1, a race track, which means a track strip specially constructed to provide the best sound and viewing for whatever is on the strip would serve many types of entertainment. Drag racing, tractor Pulls, bus racing, demolition derby’s, country music, children’s shows, politicians and heck, the NRA or Fox News might host a race there too.
    No. 2, we need it. No matter what FSU does to improve the Civic Center, it will never be a great place to watch racing and tractor pulls: It’s a metal-roofed barn. No. 3, every thriving city has a race track. It’s an economic driver. It’s a tool of education. It’s a sign of civic sophistication, forward thinking and cultural diversity. Being a cultural backwater isn’t a Tallahassee goal.
    The existence of the Civic Center is illustrative. Raise your hand if you’ve never thought about going to a single tractor pull event in the Civic Center. Everyone in this town has gone to something in the Civic Center. A basketball, hockey or arena football game. A banquet or speech or football luncheon. A show, a tractor pull, a boat show, a sports revival.
    Where would we be if there were no Civic Center? We’d be sitting on the floor of Tully Gym listening to a cover band, wondering why Tallahassee is such a boring town.
    It took more than 40 years to persuade the community to build the Civic Center, which opened in 1981. The idea was raised in 1938, and for years, average citizens said we didn’t need it. They said we weren’t a big enough city. They said it wasn’t something on which we should spend taxpayer money.
    The opponents were wrong then. They are wrong now. We need a drag racing track/ Tractor Pull Stadium!
    Let’s not wait 20 years to recognize that.

    1. Hey JP, just so you know, a Drag Strip is just for Drag Racing, you do not want to do a Tractor Pull on a Drag Strip, it will destroy the Track, even if you put Dirt down first, that’s why they only did a Tractor Pull one time inside Doak Campbell Stadium. A Drag Strip would bring in a HUGE amount of Revenue and expand our Economy in so many ways. I know several People that were investing in the new Drag Strip on Hwy 20 where the old Drag Strip still is (they lost a lot of money), Ex-Commissioner Souls was dead set against it. It would have helped her District A LOT. All People think about is the Noise, and yes, it can be a bit noisy BUT, it is a lot safer than Racing on the Streets and at least you know where your Kids are. I am all for a Drag Strip as well as a Dirt Track, a Motocross Track and a Tractor Pull Arena. ALL of those Venues will be AWESOME for Leon County and there is still plenty of Land to put them that is away from Neighborhoods. I would be against using Tax Dollars to build them BUT, if a Group of Investors wanted to get together and do so, I would be all for letting them and give them all the Permits for FREE. And by the way, I am running for Leon County Commissioner for 2020. I will fight for this.

  10. Or a minor league baseball team,
    Or an outlet mall,
    Or a water park,
    Or a Hard Rock Hotel gaming and conference center,
    Or a region wine & craft beer event with
    hot air balloon rally,
    Or Tour de Force bike race…
    Just to name a few ideas that have surfaced and withered over the years…

    Heck! Maybe then we’d get a Cheesecake Factory

  11. I thought FSU football would have been a greater percentage (excluding last year’s issues with the football program).

  12. This may be a legitimate study because I see no attempt to weave in any bogus reasons to justify building a performing arts center.
    Just to let the readers know how out of touch Mayor Daily is he actually stated a performing arts center may be a part of his money pit boondoggle AKA the Northwood Project.
    I hope our liberals in charge do not get their thieving hands on the Northwood property. We will regret it forever if they do.

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