Destination sentiment improves year-over-year as tourism boosts positive impression of OKC

The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (OKC CVB) recently released results from a Tourism Sentiment Index report which measures what people are saying about a destination online. DestinationThink is the research partner that aggregated more than 88.8 million online conversations from around the world in 2019 to measure sentiment across 50 tourism asset categories.

The Tourism Sentiment Score measures a destination’s ability to generate positive word-of-mouth attitudes toward its tourism offerings. Online conversations are analyzed and assigned a sentiment category of promoter, passive or detractor. In addition to the tone of the conversation, the report also measures the overall volume of online conversations taking place globally about a destination. Scores are then indexed ranging from -100 to 100.

Oklahoma City’s Tourism Sentiment Score rose six points to 44 (up from 38 in 2018), and overall conversation volume around OKC as a destination also increased 13 percent over 2018. This illustrates the continued growth in reputation and awareness of Oklahoma City’s tourism experience. Top conversation drivers in 2019 were around spectator sports, festivals and events, as well as music and performing arts.

“As leisure and corporate travel increase, branding and consumer sentiment toward a destination are more important than ever,” said Mike Carrier, President of the OKC CVB. “Tourism is a strong contributor to OKC’s economy and our marketing efforts are moving the needle in shaping positive perceptions of our city, as well as increasing the volume of those conversations online.”

In addition to tracking Oklahoma City’s Tourism Sentiment Score, the report also measures Oklahoma City’s Place Sentiment Score which is an aggregate value of all online conversations about OKC, from politics to real estate. OKC’s Place Sentiment Score was 23 for 2019 (up from 22 in 2018). The growing gap between the City’s Tourism Sentiment Score (44) and Place Sentiment Score (23) is representative of the impact the OKC CVB and tourism industry have on the brand of the destination as a whole.

“We’re not only improving sentiment around OKC as a destination, we’re also doing it at a faster pace than the city’s overall sentiment,” said Lindsay Vidrine, VP of Destination Marketing for the OKC CVB. “This demonstrates the strength of our local tourism industry and the impact we make together.”

As Oklahoma City’s official destination marketing organization, part of the OKC CVB’s mission is to promote the city as a first-class visitor destination and to enhance Oklahoma City's name and image. The Tourism Sentiment Index speaks to the progress of that mission and is comprised of 50 tourism assets that fall into these categories:

  • Amenities & Entertainment
  • Destination Services
  • Culinary & Food Scene
  • Culture & History
  • Outdoor Adventure
  • Relaxation & Wellness

The OKC CVB plans to use the report findings to guide future marketing efforts and content development around core conversation drivers and potential growth opportunities.