July 19, 2004
They like us (redux)!

As with the Super Bowl, visitors who came in for the MLB All Star Game left with a positive impression of Houston.

Out-of-towners here for the All-Star Game last week had an overwhelmingly positive experience, according to a new poll released by the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The survey, commissioned by the the bureau and administered randomly to hotel guests, shows the city exceeded most tourists' expectations and suggests progress in the city's effort to develop a more attractive image.

Still, despite generally positive feedback from most of the 744 respondents, about 60 percent said they were uncertain if they would return to the Space City for a pleasure or leisure trip.

City officials remain pleased with the results.

"Whatever money that the (government) invested in these two events was well worth it because we made a very strong and positive impression on over a quarter million people," said Jordy Tollett, president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Those people now have a positive image of Houston, and that will help with attracting corporate relocation, tourism, cruise lines and conventions. We hit a home run."

When asked what aspect of the city's image stood out, respondents mostly associated Houston with sports, 36 percent, and friendliness, 32 percent.

Other statistics showed that nearly 95 percent of those surveyed were very or somewhat satisfied with their ability to get to All-Star events via available transportation.

The sidebar notes that people were surveyed before and after, and the positive rating went from 55% to 77%. Not too shabby, though I can't help but feel that we benefit from the soft bigotry of low expectations here. I spent a few days in Cleveland in 1996 for a wedding and came away greatly impressed with the place. I'm sure my stereotypical opinion of Cleveland (the Cuyahoga River Fire, the Mistake on the Lake, etc) helped boost my opinion a bit (though I want to be clear here - I really enjoyed my stay and plan on visiting again some day when I have the time to visit The Jake). I've no doubt the same effect was at work here, and I'm equally sure all of the game-related activities also helped. But hey, we made visitors happy in July. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 19, 2004 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack

Hey, if I'm still here when you visit next, I'll buy you a $6 Great Lakes Dortmunder at a game.

Posted by: sean on July 20, 2004 7:56 AM

If you're still there, I'll be happy to take you up on it. Thanks!

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on July 20, 2004 5:00 PM