Voss: How we get surveys right

In early 2022, Accra launched the Aspen Destination Management Plan (ADMP) for the Aspen community. The result brings together the challenges Aspen faces and provides informed strategies through the lens of our three well-established pillars to address visitor pressure, enhance the Aspen experience, and preserve small-town character.

An integral part of the plan is gathering 360-degree feedback from all segments of the Aspen community to gauge the effectiveness of the plan, as well as to inform future initiatives.

Accra engaged destination analysts to create three surveys that will appeal to multiple stakeholder segments in Aspen. Destination Analysts has been providing destination tourism research services for two decades. They field test all surveys to ensure that the questions capture the data they were designed to collect and elicit valuable feedback, and take great care in providing a survey experience that allows respondents to be engaged without the pressure of answering questions in a certain way.

Aspen Daily News columnist Paul Mentor wonders if there is a political dimension to ACRA’s poll tools, which we can confirm there isn’t.

Conversely, the Aspen Resident Survey was specifically developed by destination analysts with the goal of understanding Aspen residents’ perceptions of tourism. The survey intentionally tests both positive and negative perceptions through different types of questions, including 5-point scales from “Definitely disagree” to “Definitely agree” with statements about Aspen. Likewise, business and visitor surveys test objective perceptions.

Accra aims to gather data for the community to understand perceptions of tourism and how it affects quality of life, to determine what residents perceive as positive and negative impacts of tourism, to measure awareness of the economic impact of tourism, to identify pain points, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for stakeholders and the Aspen region, and to examine destination management issues Common and inventory.

These insights will guide ACRA’s marketing and management decisions in the short and long term. The final executive summaries will be available to the community, and the City of Aspen can benefit from them just as the rest of the community can. Results are expected in summer 2023.

Surveys can be accessed at https://aspenchamber.org/surveys.

Eliza Voss

Vice President of Destination Marketing, Aspen Chamber Resort Association