Sussex County Delaware

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Shopping, Beaches
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Shopping and the Beaches, Sussex County's major attractions, were rated the most popular activities in Delaware by visitors, according to the 1998 Delaware Travel Barometer prepared by the Travel Industry Association of America.

The TIA said 33 percent of visitors to Delaware said they shopped on their visit to the state, while 28 percent they visited the beaches here.

Other popular activities included outdoor activities (10 percent), visiting historic places/museums (9 percent), gambling (6 percent), nightlife/dancing (5 percent), attending cultural events and festivals (5 percent), and visiting state parks (4 percent).

The Delaware Travel Barometer surveys 20,000 U.S. households per month and considers trips of 50 miles or more from home and/or overnight stays in the survey.

Approximately 6.068 million trips were taken to and through Delaware in 1998, a decrease of 3 percent from 1997. Still, visitation to the state has increased 21 percent since 1994. Delaware's share of the total U.S. travel market remained unchanged at .6 percent.

The average 1998 visitor, based on the head of household, is an individual approximately 50 years old with a mean annual household income of $58,400. Additionally, 54 percent are married and 28 percent have children under 18. More than half have a college degree and 43 percent work in managerial or professional occupations.

More singles are also beginning to visit Delaware. The percentage of singles visiting the state rose from 21 percent in 1997 to 27 percent in 1998. The percentage of couples visiting decreased from 38 percent to 34 percent. Nineteen percent of Delaware's visitors traveled with children.

Most visitors to Delaware came from the following states:

  1. Maryland -- 25 percent
  2. Pennsylvania -- 22 percent
  3. New Jersey -- 14 percent
  4. Delaware -- 8 percent
  5. Virginia -- 8 percent
  6. New York -- 6 percent

Among other findings were:

  • Pleasure/personal travel increased from 80 to 85 percent;
  • Business travel slipped from 13 to 12 percent. Delaware had less business travel than the U.S. average (21 percent) but more travel for other purposes (21 percent to 13 percent for the U.S.);
  • Private homes were the most common type of lodging used by Delaware travelers (33 percent), followed by hotels, motels or bed and breakfasts (23 percent);
  • Of Delaware travelers, 32 percent did not stay overnight and 13 percent used other types of lodging (RVs, tents, condos, timeshares and others);
  • In 1998, travelers spent an average of 2.3 nights in Delaware, the same as 1997.

For a complete copy of the 1998 Delaware Travel Barometer, call the Delaware Tourism Office at 302-672-6841.

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