Voss: How we get surveys right | AspenTimes.com

Voss: How we get surveys right

In early 2022, ACRA launched the Aspen Destination Management Plan (ADMP) for the Aspen community. The result synthesizes the challenges Aspen is facing and provides mindful strategies through the lens of our three established pillars of address visitor pressure, enhance the Aspen experience, and preserve small-town character.

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

ACRA engaged Destination Analysts to create three surveys capturing multiple segments of Aspen stakeholders. Destination Analysts has provided destinations with tourism research services for two decades. They field tests all surveys to ensure that questions collect the data that they were designed to collect and to obtain valuable feedback, and take great care in providing a survey experience that allows for respondent engagement without the pressure of answering questions in a particular way.

Aspen Daily News columnist Paul Mentor questions if there is a political dimension to ACRA’s survey tools, which we can confirm there is not.

On the contrary, The Aspen Resident Sentiment Survey was specifically developed by Destination Analysts with the objective of understanding Aspen residents’ perceptions of tourism. The survey intentionally tests both positive and negative perceptions through different types of questioning, including 5-point scales from “Disagree completely” to “Agree completely” with statements about Aspen. Similarly, both the Business and Visitor surveys test objective perceptions. 

ACRA aims to gather data for the community to understand perceptions of tourism and how it affects quality of life, to identify what residents see as the positive and negative impacts of tourism, to gauge awareness of the economic impact of tourism, to identify pain points, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of stakeholders and the Aspen area, and to examine common destination management issues and inventory.

These insights will inform ACRA’s short- and long-term marketing and management decisions. The final executive summaries will be available for the community, and the city of Aspen can utilize it just as the rest of the community may do so. Results are expected in summer 2023.

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

 Eliza Voss

VP Destination Marketing, Aspen Chamber Resort Association