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Economic Impact of Bicycle Facilities in Hampton Roads Phase Two: Visitor Spending in Hampton Roads due to Virginia Capital Trail

Economic Impact of Bicycle Facilities in Hampton Roads Phase Two: Visitor Spending in Hampton Roads due to Virginia Capital Trail

The HRTPO staff previously completed Phase One of this study, whose purpose was to measure the impact of bicycle facilities on the local economy. It contained benchmarking Hampton Roads vs. competitor regions using path length, mode share, number of bike shops, etc., and calculating bicycle event spending and income for people in Hampton Roads who bike to work.

The purpose of Phase Two is to estimate the annual amount of money spent locally by visitors drawn to Hampton Roads by the Virginia Capital Trail (VCT). A survey was administered to estimate individual visitor spending. The survey was targeted at nonresidents visiting Hampton Roads, at least in part, to use the VCT. The survey indicated that approximately 33% of visitors came from other states, mainly from North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Other.

Pie chart indicating the homes state of VCT user per 2020 Survey

Annual visitor spending in Hampton Roads due to the Virginia Capital Trail was computed by multiplying:

  • Average factored spending per person – based on the survey, the staff factored group spending according to respondents answer to question whether “The Virginia Capital Trail is the PRIMARY reason for visiting region”:
    • Strongly Agree – 1.00
    • Somewhat Agree – 0.75
    • Neither Agree nor Disagree – 0.50
    • Somewhat Disagree – 0.25
  • The annual number of VCT users – based on counts
  • Percentage of VCT users who were Eligible Visitors – for the study, Eligible Visitors, were those respondents to the survey remaining after  staff omitted incomplete or inconsistent data records, records with Hampton Roads ZIP codes, and surveys in which respondents answered “Strongly Disagree” to a question that asked whether the VCT was the primary reason for visiting the region.

The large number of surveys gathered (372) provides a margin of error of +/- $1 million at the 95% confidence level. The results of the survey indicate the annual spending in Hampton Roads due to the VCT is approximately $5 million.

Please forward any comments on the draft report to Robert Case, rcase@hrtpo.org, by June 17, 2020.

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