Thinking about doing a visitor survey for your travel and tourism related organization? You've come to the right place. Drive Research shares 7 tips to help you with your survey process covering everything from invite language to survey tips, reminders, and thank yous.
If you are going to put the effort and time into running a visitor survey make sure you do it right. If you have little experience in market research it helps to reach out to an advisor or consultant to guide you on best practices.
Learn more about our 7 tips for travel and tourism surveys below.
Before you jump in head first, think about utilizing these 7 tips for your next travel and tourism email survey sent to your database.
Tip 1: Explain the reason for the visitor survey
If you are conducting market research, please explain to your email list why you are doing it? Do you want to better understand behaviors to improve offerings? Do you want to better understand the demographic mix of visitors to introduce the attraction to new people?
Whatever your objective is, mention it in the email invite.
Put yourself in the shoes of the survey taker. Why should they take 5 minutes of their time to help? How will the feedback they offer benefit them. Do not lose sight of this. It may make or break a strong response rate.
Tip 2: Keep the email invite short and to the point
Remember: mobile first. Think about how large your iPhone screen or Samsung screen is. It's not very big and jam packing a lot of text on it will make the invite seem overwhelming at first glance. It is important to get right to the point with your email invitation.
Here is the checklist:
(1) Introduce the sponsoring organization or market research partner
(2) Explain why the survey is being conducted and why a response is important
(3) Include the survey link near the top
(4) Detail the length in time required or the number of questions
(5) Explain confidentiality or anonymity
Tip 3: Send reminders
It's very rare to get a strong and representative sample size from one invite. But it does happen. Plan on building in at least a few reminders for your email survey.
First, it beefs up the number of responses giving you an opportunity to run cross-tabs.
Secondly, it actually reduces bias in responses because those who typically respond to a survey immediately fall into the extremes: they love you or hate you.
Reminders help you obtain a more representative sample.
Tip 4: Offer an incentive
It is important to offer an incentive that is generic and liked by all. Our default is an Amazon gift card(s) because is there anything you cannot buy on Amazon nowadays?
Some travel and tourism organizations fall into a trap of offering an gift package or reward related to the tourism area (e.g. a weekend getaway package, free tickets to a park, etc.) The issue with this approach is it biases results towards visitors who like the area. Those who have constructive criticism or are not likely to return would be deterred by a reward encouraging a revisit. It would not be enticing and get them to take the survey.
Tip 5: Keep the survey engaging
As you write your survey questions try to mix up your question types and keep the fun. Ask a mix of open-ends, rating scales, and engaging questions. Some ideas for travel and tourism surveys include asking participants to think about taking a trip to your area, what one activity are you most looking forward to? Which of the following words best describe your feelings or emotions leading up to a visit to our area? And other questions like these. Both valuable data and engaging to answer.
Tip 6: Ask them to participate in follow-up market research
It is always a good idea to get buy-in from participants to assist with future market research if needed. Market research often leads to many more questions in addition to answers. Having the ability to send another survey or place a phone call can go a long way in gathering additional context on the findings from your initial outreach.
Tip 7: Thank them
Often forgotten but never undervalued. Send this thank you to all respondents and non-respondents thanking them for their feedback. It helps to include a few key takeaways or insights on what you learned and how you will use the data. If the non-responders see you taking action with results they will be more likely to respond next time.
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