J.D. Power just rolled out the results of a new, first-of-its-kind study that they’ve created, and in its inaugural year, Austin has taken the #1 spot in the Southwest and the #2 spot in the nation in the J.D. Power 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction Study.

The study measures overall satisfaction amongst business and leisure travelers to the 50 top U.S. travel destinations. The 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction Study is based on responses gathered between February and July 2016 from more than 26,000 travelers who visited a U.S. metropolitan area between December 2015 and July 2016.

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Their overall findings in the study suggest that visitors are more likely to spend money (and lots of it, at that), in cities that they really love visiting. “When visitors are delighted with their travel experience in a particular city, they spend considerably more during their stay than the average traveler,” a press release announces.

Survey factors included activities, cost and fees, food and beverage, infrastructure, lodging, and travel/arrival. With a score of 818 out of 900, the survey noted that Austin scored particularly high in the infrastructure and activities areas.

Austin, as well as Columbus, OH, was noted as being a surprising city to take home the top ranking because it’s not typically known for being a top travel destination, attributing many of its visitors to football and live music.

“When we see cities like Austin and Columbus among the highest-ranked destinations, it certainly challenges some preconceived ideas in the travel industry,” said Garlick. “This is a great example of how cities that are able to exceed travelers’ expectations can leave a positive impression that has real value.”

Austin was also listed as one of a handful of cities that really generated a strong emotional connection from visitors. “Some places go beyond satisfaction and really capture the hearts and minds of people who visit,” said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power.

Other Texas cities to rank high in the Southwest region included Dallas (811), San Antonio (807), and Fort Worth (801). The only other city in the U.S. to score higher than Austin was Las Vegas (827), so we will just assume that visitors were still drunk when they took the survey.


Featured photo from Flickr user Milbot, Creative Commons licensed



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