An online survey has been launched by the Dare County Tourism Board and Outer Banks Visitors Bureau to evaluate the overall health of the Outer Banks as a visitor destination.
MMGY NextFactor and Destinations International have been contracted for their diagnostic tool called DestinationNEXT, according to an email sent Tuesday to a variety of stakeholders in the local visitor economy, including members of the business, education and government communities.
“We’re a large tourism destination, but in a lot of ways, a small community. That’s an advantage when it comes to the long-range tourism management planning process,” said Lee Nettles, Executive Director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
The email includes a link to the survey designed only for the specific stakeholders, with a deadline for completion of Friday, September 23, 2022. A separate survey is being developed just for residents and will be available this fall.
“We are in the company of over 300 other destinations worldwide who have undertaken this assessment, and as such we feel the tool has been tried and tested, and the methodology is sound.
“The assessment takes the form of a 360-degree survey of key stakeholders in tourism, business, education, and government who would all find themselves impacted by the Outer Banks’ ability to attract and inspire visitors to our county. The results of the survey will essentially be a report card for the health and benchmarking of the Outer Banks as a destination. We will present the results and discuss them further with those in attendance at our workshop.
“To develop the most accurate picture, it is important that you answer the survey as you see Dare County’s Outer Banks today. Our hope is that the findings of this survey will spark a thoughtful, productive conversation about the Outer Banks as a destination and form the basis for a destination-wide tourism strategy to help guide the Outer Banks into the future.”
The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete, with questions representing “a broad set of topics addressing various elements of your community.” All responses will remain anonymous.
Some of the questions have elements that “may seem beyond the scope” of the Tourism Board’s purpose, “but indeed are relevant to and may impact visitors’ experiences.”
“The Tourism Board is proud to lead this effort and looks forward to the discussions it will produce through surveys, focus groups and town hall meetings,” Nettles said. “It’s an opportunity to shape the future of tourism for our area.”