With the summer tourism season about to kick off, the Portland Convention + Visitors Bureau delivered an interesting presentation Tuesday night to the City Council’s Economic Development Committee.
The report featured an overview of tourism traffic to Portland.
A couple of highlights:
- Generally speaking, Maine beaches are the state’s top annual attraction, with nearly 12 million visitors a year. But Greater Portland as a region comes in second with 5.6 million, followed by the Down East/Acadia area with just less than 5 million visitors.
- The tourism numbers for Greater Portland were sort of up and down last year — up 4 percent in terms of tourism spending compared to 2013, down 8.7 percent in terms of numbers of day visits, up 1.7 percent in overnight visits.
But the part of the report I was most intrigued by was the social media portion.
The organization noted that 72 percent of the bureau’s Visit Portland Facebook page‘s audience is female, and more than half of the top 20 home locations of followers are out-of-state.
Put another way, the bureau knows where its Facebook followers are from (because it’s Facebook), and listed their top 20 home locations, or the places on Earth where people are most likely to follow this very Portland-centric social media page.
The No. 1 place for Portland Facebook fans is, well, Portland. And neighboring South Portland is in the top five, at No. 4. But six out of the top eight places, as well as 11 of the top 20, are out-of-state.
You’ll find that Texans seem particularly interested in Greater Portland. Do all these Facebook followers “love” Portland (as suggested in this post’s headline)? Maybe that’s a leap, but they at least “like” it, by Facebook verbiage, so it’s not an extreme leap.
Here are the top 10 places — plus an honorable mention — outside of Maine where people are most likely to follow the Visit Portland Facebook page:
Honorable Mention: New Orleans, Louisiana
10. Louisville, Kentucky
9. Austin, Texas
8. Miami, Florida
7. Orlando, Florida
6. New York City
5. Dallas, Texas
4. Los Angeles, California
3. Boston, Massachusetts
2. Houston, Texas
1. Chicago, Illinois
If you’re curious, the bureau tracks Internet traffic to its website, VisitPortland.com, as well, and found that, after Maine, the biggest audience comes from Massachusetts.
That’s followed in terms of online traffic by New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, in that order.