Fiveash explains critical tourism research for Cumberland County

By Savanah Ramsey, posted 4 months ago

The Greater Fayetteville Chamber hosted their monthly Chairman’s Coffee Club this morning, featuring Interim President and CEO of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Randy Fiveash as the guest speaker. 

Fiveash took on the role of leadership at the FACVB after coming out of a planned retirement. Collectively, Fivesash has forty years of proven leadership experience, in the tourism and hospitality industry, association management, strategic planning, and destination marketing.

Fiveash discussed the newly completed critical tourism foundational research that delivers insights from three different collections of data: Stakeholder Study, Scout Report, and Market Study. 

To gather this data, the FACVB teamed up with the Greater Fayetteville Chamber and Cool Spring Downtown District.

The FACVB chose to team with these two companies because they are the only other two tourism related and development organizations in the community.

The Stakeholder Study provides insights from local stakeholders in the community. The Scout Report is an interactive report that provides real-time data to show the geographic distribution of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County’s fueled by tourism; while the Tourism Marketing Study targets the regional travelers traveling habits. 

“A lot of folks think that research is just a boring thing that you have to do, and you don’t get a lot of interest in the general business community about what you do, but it is the most important thing that you can do in an organization,” Fiveash explained. 

“I don’t have a staff,” stated Fiveash. “I have a team. They work hard and I know that they are the best.”

The Stakeholder Study found that Cumberland County excels in the areas of:

  • Military/Government (54%)
  • Downtown District (27%)
  • Accommodations/Food Service (21%)
  • Arts & Entertainment (17%)
  • Travel, Tourism, and Attractions (16%)

The data also shows which areas attract the attention of travelers:

  • Military/Historical Sites (45%)
  • Airborne & Special Ops Museum (ASOM (43%)
  • Cape Fear Botanical Gardens (34%)
  • Spectator Sports (29%)
  • Museums (27%)

Fayetteville is ranked fifth in city reputation and fourth with travelers’ intent to visit compared to other surrounding cities. 

However, as the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 has approached, 53% of regional travelers are ready to return to normal. 

“What visitors think and what potential visitors think is important,” he said. “With this research we will take it and ensure that we are marketing in the right areas. This is an opportunity for growth.”

From this data the FACVB has been able to pick out the lower key performance indicators and have determined that all travelers deliver value to the area – and the more the better. With certain barriers like the lower key performance indicators and some COVID-19 policies most of the barriers are fixable. 

The consumer truths are generated from this research and will provide the launching point for the FACVB’s new Strategic Marketing & Media Plan moving forward.

“Perception is where growth and potential is which will lead us to the opportunity to get where we want to be,” Fiveash said. 

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