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Research and Insights

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau (HVAB) tracks key performance measures in order to gain insight into visitation in Centre Centre; better understand visitor behavior within the destination; what motivated the visitor to come and how they get their information during the planning stage; track occupancy rates and lodging preferences, capture local economic impact; and monitor tourism trends. This research drives our strategic planning, and sales and marketing decisions.



Source: D.K. Shifflet & Associates



The hospitality industry in Centre County supports 5,120 tourism-related jobs and raised $42.4 million in state and local taxes in 2018.

Visitors to Centre County spent $809.1 million on tourism related expenses in 2018, which places Centre County in the top quarter of all Pennsylvania counties. The following chart explains how that money was spent broken down by categories. 


Source: 2018 Economic Impact of PA Travel and Tourism Report and Data USA's Centre County Profile


Where Are Happy Valley's Visitors Coming From?


The HVAB partners with locations intelligence company AirSage to develop a snapshot of where our visitors are coming from and when they are coming. This information is used to better create a picture of who our target markets are for potential advertising campaigns. Locals and students who have been in our destination longer than two weeks are removed from the study. An example down below shows that the darker the county's shade of blue, the higher the concentration of visitors from the county coming through or stopping in Centre County from October 2018-September 2019.  

The example below from August 2018 showcases where the visitors to Centre County gravitate. Although State College is the focal point of many visitors, they also tend to fan out to surrounding communities to enjoy many of the wonderful attractions and assets found there. 




2018 Centre County Visitation Analysis

The HVAB commissioned Tourism Economics to analyze visitation into Centre County in 2018. The report captures of snapshot of the number of visitors for the calendar year, time spent in the destination, and lodging choices for overnight visitors.


Small Travel Businesses Imperiled Without Congressional Action - Fact Sheet


PSU Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management - Visitor Intercept Study

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau (HVAB) promotes visitation to all of Centre County, Pennsylvania.

PSU RPTM designed and executed a comprehensive data collection strategy that spanned a 12-month period and was representative of tourism demand in Centre County. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data collection was suspended in early March of 2020. Accordingly, the results are based on 10-months of data collection. The research team worked with HVAB to finalize the survey instrument and select the sampling sites. Visitors were surveyed on-site about their current trip.

The PSU RPTM visitor intercept study addresses the following questions:

- What is the demographic profile of visitors to Centre County?
- What is the main purpose of visitors’ travel to Centre County? 
- What attractions do visitors frequent in Centre County?
- What activities do visitors participate in Centre County?
- What benefits do visitors seek when they participate in activities in Centre County?
- What perceptions do visitors have of Centre County (e.g., destination image, relative friendliness of people)?
- What sources of information do visitors use to make decisions about their trips to Centre County? 
- What are the travel patterns/trip characteristics of visitors to Centre County (e.g., length of stay)?
- What is the satisfaction level of visitors to Centre County?

This study establishes a benchmark for comparative purposes in the future. The PSU RPTM intercept study was conducted 5/28/2019-2/29/2020. LINK