After an exceptional summer, VisitErie has come out with this year’s visitation numbers.
VisitErie is reporting that 57.8% of visitors this summer were from out of state, which is an increase of 11.8% compared to last year.
The organization’s new marketing campaign may have had something to do with the increase.
VisitErie completed a study of visitor traffic numbers from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. There were increases across their board with their statistics when compared to the same period in 2022.
“We felt that this summer was exceptional. We had fantastic numbers when it came to our visitor guide requests, overnight stays, people that decided to just come up from different areas that we hadn’t normally seen in a while,” said Christine Temple, the director of communications for VisitErie.
Temple added one thing that they did differently was expand their targeted designated marketing areas. Usually, the marketing organization campaigns in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but this year, they went as far as Harrisburg, Youngstown and Altoona.
According to Temple, local favorites like Presque Isle, Waldameer Park and the zoo are what keep Erie on the map.
“We have beautiful attractions. Presque Isle is our top visitor attraction during the summertime. We were very fortunate this season that Mother Nature cooperated. We didn’t have a lot of really, really hot and humid days and we didn’t really have a lot of rainy washout days,” said Temple.
Scott Mitchell explained that the Erie Zoo finished the summer season nicely thanks to the dry weather and is looking forward to giving the public new surprises for next year.
“We anticipate a bigger year next year, particularly with two new exhibits opening up. We typically see a 10%, maybe 15%, increase in attendees when you have a new exhibit,” said Scott Mitchell, the Director of Development of the Erie Zoo.
Temple said VisitErie is also trying to promote Erie as a four-season destination and is expecting fall and winter numbers to also increase.