Tourism Board Members Give Insights On Visitors
By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Members of the joint Ste. Genevieve tourism group (a combination of the Tourism Advisory Council and the Tourism Tax Commission) were each given five minutes to answer five questions on who, exactly, is visiting Ste. Genevieve, and what we know about them.
The questions, scripted by Tourism Director Tanalyn Dollar, were:
1. Who is our audience?
2. What do we know about them?
3. Where do they live?
4. What do they do professionally?
5. What activities do they consume while in STG?
6. How are their needs changing?
Dena Kreitler, executive director of the Ste. Genevieve Chamber of Commerce, was the first one to answer. She said the audience, in the first question is “everyone” and that she saw “no certain demographic” among the visitors she wants to attract.
She reported that a lot of “day-trippers” come and that most live within a two-hour drive.
She said they shop, dine, go to wineries and that “very few of them go to our museums, which is a shame.”
On the final question, on changes, she said people seem to be making shorter trips since the 2020 pandemic.
Nichole French, owner of Sweet Things Sweet Shop, then answered. She agreed that there is “a very wide variety” of people who visit, including many who ride the trolley and visit the wineries and day-trippers who tour the historic homes.
“We get travelers from all over the United States that are doing summer road trips or whatever,” she said. She said a lot come from St. Louis, Cape Girardeau and Southern Illinois.
During the summer, a lot go to the waterpark, she said. French said changes include more day trips and “planable weekends.”
Patrick Fahey, co-owner of Main Street Inn and the Ste. Genevieve Antique Mall, then took his turn.
He said, with the inn, a more well-to-do group of visitors come. About half come from the St. Louis region and generally stay two nights. Others come from southern Illinois and Memphis.
He said the biggest change is a growth in eco tourism.