Surveys show trends and opportunities for Atlantic City

Atlantic City's boardwalk. ­

Not one, not two, but three recent surveys produced by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at the Stockton University School of Business indicate that Atlantic City would benefit from a coordinated marketing plan and events that can attract more and younger visitors and emphasize the assets of the city including casinos, beaches and restaurants.

“While they were separate surveys, there are similar topics and results among all three that indicate trends and opportunities for the resort moving forward,” LIGHT Assistant Director Sarah Grady, who coordinated the studies, said.

Not surprisingly, the survey results indicated most visitors to the resort are ages 40 and older. Younger visitors are interested in the city, but are more likely to visit for a specific event or activity and are influenced by recommendations from their peers and the media.

The three surveys are:

Highlights from each survey are highlighted below and can be found in their entirety here.

Atlantic City Lifestyle Tourism Survey

  • Individuals traveling with a spouse or significant other were the most common travel group size and composition. Groups traveling with children under the age of 3 were rare.
  • 82% of respondents were satisfied with their most recent visit to Atlantic City, with 7% dissatisfied with their visit. Dissatisfaction was largely due to pandemic-related or -induced changes in service or amenities.
  • Travel group interests were less important than affordability and deals and promotions to respondents choosing a travel destination.
  • Younger respondents were more likely to rate the recommendations of peers and the media as important in making travel decisions than their older counterparts
  • Specific events and activities, and variety of activities at a destination were more important in the travel decision-making process of younger respondents (older Gen Z and millennials) than their older counterparts (baby boomers and post-war).

Atlantic City Restaurant Week

  • Six out of 10 respondents were returning Restaurant Week patrons.
  • 35% of respondents who were first-time patrons heard about Restaurant Week from social media.
  • Three-quarters of respondents indicated that Restaurant Week factored into their decision to visit the resort.
  • Nearly half of respondents indicated that they were of the baby boomer generation (age 56-75).
  • 17% of respondents traveled more than 50 miles to attend Restaurant Week.
  • 54% of respondents were from Atlantic County, 89% from New Jersey.
  • Among Restaurant Week patrons who were not residents of Atlantic City, 3 out of 10 said they were staying in the Atlantic City area overnight.
  • 62% of respondents rated Restaurant Week 5 out of 5 for value.
  • 86% of 2021 respondents said they would return in 2022.

The Atlantic City Stakeholder Report

  • Stakeholders cited the city’s casinos, beach and Boardwalk as strengths of the resort, as well as its proximity to major population centers
  • The city’s art, music, culture, entertainment and dining offerings were also seen as important strengths.
  • Stakeholders cited condition of the city and its public reputation as weaknesses of the resort.
  • Quality of life issues and limited public transportation options were also identified as weaknesses.
  • Respondents wanted to see a more diversified, multicultural and multigenerational tourism product for Atlantic City.
  • Regional competition, gaming and nongaming, was seen as a threat to the resort, in addition to the resort’s weaknesses.
  • 73.3% of respondents “Strongly Agree” that the city’s marketing resources are insufficient.
  • 54.8% of respondents “Strongly Agree” that Atlantic City needs a compellingly vibrant (i.e. “reimagined”) brand image.