The Block Island Times

Featured: Deconstructing the Block Island visitor

By Jessica Willi (Executive Director, Block Island Tourism Council) | Jan 07, 2012

How many people visit Block Island in a year? Are they mostly day-trippers or do they stay overnight? If they do stay overnight, where do they stay and for how long? Where are they travelling to Block Island from and what brings them here?

Have you ever wondered what the answers to these questions are? We, the Block Island Tourism Council, wonder every day! Hoping to get a few answers, we placed a survey on our website in February of 2011. We find the answers from the past 11 months interesting and wanted to share them with the community. The following is only a partial list of the answers, but feel free to email questions to us at The survey can be found on the home page of our website at

Total responses to date: 2,726

• Respondents’ home state (top six): Connecticut, 690; New York, 499; Massachusetts, 447; Rhode Island, 333; New Jersey, 206; Pennsylvania, 123.

• 57 percent of respondents have never visited Block Island before. Of the 43 percent who have, most have visited four or more times.

• Most (65 percent) come here because of friends and family, followed by print advertising (14 percent) and the internet (14 percent).

• Most responders did/will stay in an inn (68 percent), a B&B (39 percent) or a rental home (23 percent).

• Most responders are interested in the beach (90 percent), dining (78 percent), shopping (68 percent), history (63 percent) and outdoor recreation (63 percent).

• The most important thing when selecting a vacation destination are special offers and packages (74 percent), followed by friends and family (28 percent).

• 90 percent of responders use the internet to make vacation plans.

• Most responders plan a two- to three-night stay (55 percent) while only 14 percent plan a day trip.

• Most responders are female (79 percent), between the ages of 45 and 54 (31 percent), making $50,000 to $75,000 a year (23 percent) and many are married with children (31 percent).

The Tourism Council will use this information to help shape future marketing efforts as well as our annual publication, the Block Island Magazine.

Also in 2011, the Tourism Council developed a mobile web site ( from your smart phone or tablet) that has been extraordinarily popular with visitors. We have a Facebook Page with over 3,500 fans ( and we are on Twitter (@blockislandinfo).

Our website continues to grow and visits are once again up 20 percent in the past year.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.