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Research and Insights

The HVAB’s 2022 Year in Review highlights key performance metrics, special initiatives and tourism promotion efforts over the past year.

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.

Pennsylvania Travel Industry Indicators

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office’s monthly report captures key travel industry performance indicators, including hotel occupancy, traveler spending, and leisure and hospitality industry employment.

READ the February 2021 report.

READ the January 2021 report.

Older Reports:

November 2020



Source: D.K. Shifflet & Associates

2020 Centre County Visitation Analysis

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau engaged Tourism Economics to update visitation estimates for Centre County, last done in 2018. The analysis reflects the impact of the pandemic on overnight stays and visitation generally, and will serve as benchmark for recovery. READ THE STUDY.



Source: & Tourism Economics

View the latest report of the Economic Impact of Travel & Tourism on PA: HERE


The Case for Tourism Funding

Pennsylvania was once a leader in tourism funding. In 2000 Pennsylvania had the second-largest Tourism Marketing budget in the country, with a high-water mark of approximately $50 million. Some slow, incremental cuts were made during the ensuing years, and then the recession of 2008-09 led to substantial state budget cuts, including a reduction in the tourism budget from $30 million to $10 million.  In the 2011-12 Fiscal Year tourism funding was further reduced to around $4 million annually excluding earmarks for specific projects. It has lingered there ever since. The Commonwealth now hovers near the bottom of states for its investment in tourism promotion. The study below highlights the economic damage these budget cuts had on Pennsylvania’s economy. PA failed to heed the lesson many businesses have learned over the years: when you cut your marketing budget in lean times you open the door for your competitors to gain market share at your expense.  While conducted in 2015, the study’s findings remain relevant today as other states are considering bold investments in tourism marketing to counter the economic devastation created by the pandemic.

Budget Analysis Summary Avaliable: HERE


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

Longwoods International Traveler Sentiment Survey (most recent edition linked)


Economic Impacts of Sports Events in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Tourism Economics, August 2017

2019 Visitation Estimates

Where do Centre County visitors come from? Data from AirSage, a leading location intelligence company, captured visitation to Centre County from counties falling within a 250-mile radius. The information helps the HVAB and its partners better understand travel patterns to the destination, and identify key markets for promotional purposes.