Who visits the Outer Banks?

Published 1:27 am Sunday, September 2, 2018

Dare County visitors are younger and more affluent than previously thought.

A new customer analytics package provides insight into who visits the Outer Banks, how they live, and how best to communicate with those visitors.

Buxton Research, of Fort Worth, Texas, is the provider of the analytics for the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. The new approach was introduced to the Dare County Tourism Board in mid-August.

Three market segments, or visitor personas, are identified as families with children, single adult visitors, and childless retreat visitors.

The families with children category shows that almost 80 percent of the visiting families are headed by men. The dominate age range is 40 to 49 years at about 35 percent, with the range 50 to 59 years at 25 percent. The average household income is $102,772.

Single adult visitors are younger with ages 20 to 39 making up 43 percent of the category. Average household income is $76,137. This category shows the most ethnic diversity with 13.9 percent African American and 66.3 percent white.

Some 89 percent of childless retreat visitors are married with average household income pegged at $95,873. A quarter of these visitors, 25 percent are in the 50 to 59 year age range with 21.6 percent in the 60 to 69 year age range.

The new analytics led to some changes in advertising placements and provides specificity in targeting visitors. The ad schedule calls for reaching 114,000 computers.

A marketing dashboard shows the visitor’s bureau in fiscal year 2018 with 754,876 email subscribers, 709,000 Facebook friends, and followers numbering 35,900 on Twitter, 57,200 on Instagram and 19,195 Pinterest.

The tourism board also approved a $30,000 natural, historic and cultural grant request from the Elizabethan Gardens for a Discovery Cottage and Discovery Outdoor Classroom “where children can explore, learn and play among trees and the natural world.” The total project cost is $84,962. This item is on the Dare County Board of Commissioners agenda for concurrence on Sept. 4.

The board also approved an extension of a grant to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. The grant helps with the construction of an entrance sign for the museum. Construction was delayed by the July rain. The grant extension is until the end of September.

The next board meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. The board will devote time to consider purchasing the Town of Nags Head’s share of the Soundside Site, purchasing an adjacent parcel and constructing a building.