BCS Leisure Travel Competitors 1
Bryan/College Station, Texas, and Waco, Texas, are two communities that have become attractive destinations for leisure visitors. Each offers a unique range of attractions that are specific to their area. Affordability, family atmospheres, knowledgeable locals, and excellent customer service are features that have encouraged visitors to return to the towns in subsequent years. The requested information is summarized in the attached spreadsheet.
Bryan/College Station, Texas — Annual Visitors
- The number of people visiting Bryan/College Station annually is not readily available. In 2018 there were 6,135 hotel rooms in Bryan/College Station. The rooms experienced an average occupancy of 60% throughout the year.
- Over the year, this equates to 2,239,275 room nights (6,135 x 365). If the average occupancy is 60%, then 1,343,565 room nights were used by visitors over the year. What is unknown is the length of stay for the people occupying the rooms and the number of people staying in each room.
- The total revenue from hotel stays was $584.7 million in 2018.
Bryan/College Station, Texas — Special Attractions and Why People Liked Them
- The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum was considered excellent by 80% of the people visiting it. TripAdvisor gives it 4.5 stars out of 5, based on 1,180 reviews. One visitor said "A "must-see" if you visit the Bryan/College Station area."
- Over 338,339 people follow Santa's Wonderland Facebook page. It has an average review score of 4.4 out of 5. Comments include, "This year will be the third time me and my wife will be going. Its real fun. Definitely a family event. Great place to go enjoy festivities of Christmas."
- One reviewer said, "I cannot imagine anyone who wouldn't have a wonderful time. I have been many times as a visitor and three times as a vendor. It is a great family event with lots of fun, entertainment, shopping, and food." about the Messina Hof Winery. Based on reviews on Yelp, it has a rating of 4 stars out of 5.
- The 22,000 square foot Old Bryan Marketplace is rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on TripAdvisor. One reviewer enthusiastically stated, "Wow. What a treasure. This lovely shopping & dining experience is located in the heart of historic Bryan, and promises not to disappoint."
What People Like About Bryan/College Station, Texas
- As a university town, leisure visitors enjoy the atmosphere that this environment creates. The sporting fixtures are a prominent feature on the calendar and events both locals and leisure visitors enjoy.
- The shopping and dining experiences of downtown Bryan were noted by many leisure visitors as being excellent and worthy of a visit.
- A family atmosphere was noted at different attractions by many visitors. This was seen as a positive feature of the area, and a reason to visit again in the future.
- Santa's Wonderland is an event that is unique to the area. It is a tradition for many and something that many people, who had left reviews about Bryan/College Station, enjoyed about the location.
Bryan/College Station, Texas — Special Attractions — Metrics
- George Bush's Presidential Library is the most popular of all Presidential Libraries, with 491,000 visitors in 2014.
- Despite being open for only a few weeks each year, Santa's Wonderland has more than 200,000 visitors each year.
- The number of people visiting the winery each year is not publicly available. After 40 years, the Messina Hof winery now produces more than 130,000 gallons of wine each year to remain a front runner in the Texas Wine Industry.
Bryan/College Station, Texas — Digital Marketing Tactics
- Experience BCS is the web page that promotes tourism in the area. It provides a comprehensive analysis of sights, restaurants, shopping, events, and meetings.
- As part of their digital marketing tactics, this organization allows interested parties to subscribe to a monthly digital newsletter that promotes various aspects of the Bryan/College Station community, events, and attractions.
- The organization is active on Facebook, where it has 19,668 followers. It uses the page to actively promote events, attractions, and community events.
- Their Twitter account is used in a similar way to promote the local community and events. It has 5,383 followers that engage somewhat irregularly.
- With 2.949 followers, Experience BCS' Instagram is less formal. It encourages people to share their experiences of the area to promote engagement.
Waco, Texas — Annual Visitors
Waco, Texas — Special Attractions
- The Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau is responsible for marketing Waco as a tourist destination. They list the top 30 special attractions in Waco and the surrounding areas on their website.
- According to the Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau, review sites and social media, the top attractions in Waco include the Magnolia Market at the Silos, Cameron Park Zoo, Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, Waco Suspension Bridge, and the Dr. Pepper Museum.
- The Magnolia Market at the Silos has received 3,978 reviews on TripAdvisor. 56% of people rated it excellent, and 24% rated it very good. Comments included, "Awesome destination. These guys are pure geniuses. The place is mobbed but laid out well. The customer service is impeccable. Like it is a family affair."
- Cameron Park Zoo is rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp. There are a range of positive comments including "This is the best zoo I've been too. The exhibits are huge."
- The Waco Mammoth National Monument received 4.8 out of 5 from Facebook reviewers. Comments included, "Great place and so interesting. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and funny. The exhibit is amazing."
- Reviews on TripAdvisor rated the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame 4.5 stars out of 5. The comments were overwhelmingly positive, including "I thought this museum was cool." 63% of people who reviewed the Hall of Fame considered it excellent.
- Visitors also enjoyed the Waco Suspension Bridge. It is rated 4.5 out of 5 on Yelp. Positive feedback included, "This is a landmark you have to visit when in Waco."
- Facebook users highly recommended the Dr Pepper Museum. Based on the opinion of 1,544 people, it has a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. One patron said, "This place was awesome. Definitely worth checking out, and only 10 bucks to walk around is a steal. My wife and I had a blast and are planning on coming back in the future."
What People Like About Waco, Texas
- A review of social media, travel reviews, blogs, and media articles shows that leisure visitors consistently enjoyed the attractions that Waco has to offer.
- The wide range of historic places, museums, and interesting places to visit were seen as positive by visitors, with many reviews recognizing the positive attitude and expertise of guides.
- Leisure visitors also noted the affordability and family atmosphere of Waco, with these aspects mentioned in many reviews.
- A high level of customer service was also noted as a positive among leisure visitors. Many commented on their willingness to return in the future.
Waco, Texas — Special Attractions — Metrics
- In 2018 the Cameron Park Zoo experienced an 8% increase in visitor numbers with 353,691 people visiting.
- The Waco Mammoth National Monument had a 13% increase in visitor numbers in 2018. It had 113,342 visitors.
- The Magnolia Market is the top tourist attraction. The nature of the market is such that exact visitor numbers are not available.
- CEO of the Dr Pepper Museum, Chris Dyer, has stated that approximately 150,000 people visited in 2018.
- 2017 was the most successful year since opening for the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, with 93,444 people visiting.
Waco, Texas — Digital Marketing Tactics
- The Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau is responsible for marketing this area. Their website is a collection of information about the area, including accommodation, things to do, events, shopping, and community information.
- They offer an app to assist in planning a trip to Waco. Interested parties are also able to sign up for a monthly electronic newsletter that promotes the area.
- Their Facebook page has 33,326 followers. It actively promotes local businesses, attractions, events, and community happenings. Their digital newsletter is also promoted on their Facebook page, and people are encouraged to subscribe.
- Twitter is used similarly to Facebook. They have 2,050 followers. The focus of the material on their Twitter account is skewed toward the Convention market rather than the leisure travel market.
- With 2,030 followers on Instagram, the organization uses the page to actively promote a range of attractions and events to the public.
We extensively searched a range of websites promoting tourism in the two locations, to obtain the annual visitor numbers, special attractions, what people liked, and the digital marketing tactics. While information was available regarding the annual visitor numbers to Waco, no information of this nature was available in respect of Bryan/College Station. Some limited regional statistics were available regarding Bryan/College Station. Other information regarding special attractions and marketing was readily available for both of these locations.
In an attempt to establish the annual visitors to Bryan/College Station, we searched a range of media articles and publications. There was a significant amount of information regarding the number of rooms available in the area and the occupancy rates, but no figures regarding the total number of visitors annually were compiled in these sources.
Finally, in an attempt to find the annual visitors to Bryan/College Station, we considered a range of hotel and hospitality publications specific to the area. The total revenue from visitors to the area was available, but not the total number of visitors annually. Given that we had established the number of rooms available and the occupancy rate, we searched for the average length of stay for hotel guests in this area. We thought we may be able to triangulate a rough estimate of the number of visitors with this information. By calculating the total available room nights per year (6,135 x 365) and multiplying it by the average occupancy (2,239,275 x.60), we determined visitors occupied 1,343,565 room nights annually. We attempted to locate the average number of guests per room and the average stay to calculate a rough estimate of total numbers. Unfortunately, this information was not available from any of the aforementioned sources.
We reviewed a range of tourism sites, reviews, social media posts, and blogs to determine the special attractions of the respective areas. Special attractions were determined based on visitor comments of this nature, approval ratings, the uniqueness of the attraction, and visitor numbers. The aforementioned sources were also reviewed to determine what it was about each of these locations that people liked.
Finally, we considered the tourism websites, marketing publications, social media pages, and digital newsletters to determine the digital marketing tactics of each of the locations.