Summer Survey Confirms Most OC Visitors From Pennsylvania, Followed By Maryland

Summer Survey Confirms Most OC Visitors From Pennsylvania, Followed By Maryland
Summer Survey

OCEAN CITY — Tourism officials reviewed the results of last year’s zip code collection last week to attempt to determine where the resort’s visitors are coming from and also received good news on some year-end statistics regarding visitor totals from last year.

The Tourism Commission on Feb. 8 reviewed the results of a summer-long survey of a large segment of the visitors to the resort, providing a snapshot of the pertinent information such as how often they come, how long they stay and perhaps more importantly, where they are coming from. Throughout last summer, visitors were asked to complete the survey at various locations including the visitor’s center in the Convention Center, the Boardwalk information kiosks, the Chamber of Commerce and various special events.

“We started to take a measurement of where our visitors are coming from so we can better determine where to direct our marketing efforts,” said Tourism Director Donna Abbott. “We got some decent numbers for our first real effort of collecting zip codes and we hope to expand on that going forward.”

The initial survey included the zip codes of thousands of visitors to the resort, and while the survey was admittedly not comprehensive and representative of all visitors, it did illustrate some trends.

The largest number of responders to the zip code study came from Pennsylvania at 34 percent. Maryland was second at 27 percent, while the third largest category was simply filed under “other.” New York was fourth at 12 percent, while New Jersey came in at eight percent and Virginia at five percent.

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In terms of the largest television markets from which visitors came to Ocean City, according to the zip code report, 22 percent came from the Baltimore market, while 17 percent came from the Philadelphia market and 16 percent came from the Washington, D.C. market. Pittsburgh also made the list at 10 percent.

Meanwhile, Knight told the committee on Tuesday the Smith Travel Report for 2015 shows Ocean City finished first in several tourism-related indicators among other major destinations in the region. Ocean City had the highest increase in hotel occupancy in the region during 2015 at 5.4 percent and the highest year-round occupancy at 58 percent. Ocean City also had the highest average daily rate at $155.78, while Delaware was second at $135.68. Ocean City also had the highest revenue per available room at $90.36 while the next closest was Delaware at $73.88.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.