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Tupper Lake web site growing in tourist traffic

Dan McClelland

by Dan McClelland
The new Tupper Lake web site, Tupper, is a hit and in a presentation to local officials last month ROOST's Michelle Clement recited new data to prove just how popular it is.
The Lake Placid-based ROOST (Regional Office Of Sustained Tourism) which last year partnered with the town and village and the Town of Piercefield to heavily promote this area as a destination, created the new web site forthe community and its chamber of commerce.
Mrs. Clement, who previously worked as the chamber event coordinator before joining ROOST a year ago, at the April town board meeting began her presentation of web numbers by comparing the first quarters of 2015 and 2016.
During those three months the number of users who visited the site increased from 31,111 in 2015 to 40,170 this year- an increase of 29%. Of the users in 2015, 71.44% were what Mrs. Clement called “new users.”
Her information also included a comparison of “sessions” on the local site.  A session is the number of times a user has visited the site.
Sessions increased from 39,425 in 2015 to 52,646 this year- an increase of 33.53%.
The average number of pages on the web site visited per session was 2.15.
The number of individual “page views” on the site increased 38.52% over the 12 month period from 81,565 to 112,982.
Mrs. Clement's report also broke the numbers down of how web visitors to the Tupper Lake site were getting there.
The largest component of visitors in the first three months of 2016 came via an organic search (17,882).  That might be someone who searched for a topic like “fishing in the Adirondacks,” Michelle explained.
Other visitors to the site came via the social media- with 95% of them coming through Facebook.  Social media visitors accounted for 9,925.  Paid marketing by ROOST produced 5,381 visitors to the site in early 2016.  E-mail solicitation generated 7,568 visitors.  Another 12,000 visitors came from direct appeals or referrals.
ROOST sponsored a number of advertising campaigns, targeted at skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.  Mrs. Clement said that ROOST stepped in early in 2016 to reallocate advertising funds and redirect them to help the organizers of the Northern Challenge to boost participant numbers this year.
She also presented numbers that showed where the visitors came from.  Over 90% of the web visitors live in the U.S. and 6.62% in Canada.
Comparing states where visitors lived, New York was where 68% of web users lived in the look at the first three months of this year.  New Jersey accounted for 4.32% of the visitors.  Other states heard from include Pennsylvania, 3.97%, Massachusetts, 306% and Florida, 2.38%.
A Demographic break-down of the visitors showed that 8.75% were 18 to 24 year olds, 17.5% were 25 to 34 year olds, 17.12% were 35 to 44; 21.89% 45 to 54 year olds, 22.65% were 55 to 64 years and 12.10% of the visitors those three months were 65 years of age and older.
Of the site users, 44.69% were female and 55.31% were male, her information revealed.
In those three months too the top ten pages on the local web site include the Northern Challenge page in No. 1 spot with 9,774 viewers. In declining order of popularity were the following pages on the site: home page (9,203 viewers), lodging (5059), the blog written by Mrs. Clement on Shaheen's IGA (4,814 viewers), the lodging and motel pages (3,506), the Adirondack Stay and Play promotional page (2,948 viewers), a regional transitions page ((2,778), events page ((2,352), sites and attractions page ((2,332) and a camping page (2,001).
Mrs. Clement said the Facebook presence continues to be a growing influence on the local site with nearly 500 new “likes” during that three-month period.
Two videos on the site drew 21,515 views on Facebook and 730 views on YouTube.
Asked by Supervisor Patricia Littlefield how the statistics of visitors could determine if the visitor was male or female, Mrs. Clement said the IP address of every computer reveals the “profile” of its operators.
She also gave the officials that evening a brief overview of the other marketing initiatives underway by her agency.
On the development of a new brand for Tupper Lake to be used in all its advertising and marketing, she reported that the “community perception” survey has been completed and some of the initial data was presented to a collection of town, village and chamber officials at a meeting on April 7.  Much of the discussion focussed on the importance of consistent branding and community involvement, she said.
Lake Placid's AdWorkshop has been retained to help facilitate the new Tupper Lake brand.
After the recent “Virtual Focus Group” sampling of community thought, a public meeting is expected to be held this month, according to the ROOST representative.
Plans are to add a new online reservation system called Inntopia to the Tupper Lake web site in time for summer.  Training will begin soon to teach lodging owners and other business people here how to use the new reservation system.
She said Tupper Lake will be a participant in a relatively new Great Adirondack Garage Sale, initiated by Hamilton County in recent years. The 200 mile plus multi-town garage sale, set for Memorial Day weekend,  from Malone to Speculator, and from Cranberry Lake to Inlet.  Its new web site puts Tupper Lake clearly at its center, she noted.
Michelle reported too that her agency is currently working with the Wild Center to plan “a media familiarization” tour that will highlight Tupper Lake as home to the world-class attraction and other regional experiences.
She encouraged everyone in the community to attend the various public meetings planned by ROOST in upcoming months.