Wings Over Wayne Air Show Attracts Crowd of 152,000 and Accounts for $6.4 Million in Economic Impact

The Travel & Tourism Department for the City of Goldsboro and Wayne County, also known as Visit Goldsboro, has published a report revealing that Wings Over Wayne Air Show, held at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. has had another successful year. The reports showed that crowds of over 152,000 attended the Air Show, and the event generated over $6.4 million in economic impact. The report also showed that of these visitors, 70% drove more than 30 miles to attend, 35% were first-time attendees to the Air Show, and a visitor from eastern Europe traveled the farthest for the event.

Headed into 2019, the intent was to collect more event-specific data to better understand the impact of the air show on Wayne County and neighboring regions. The Goldsboro-Wayne County’s Travel & Tourism Department collected over 500 responses through online and on-the-ground surveys for the 2019 Wings Over Wayne Air Show. The responses helped provide insight on attendee demographics, the effectiveness of marketing efforts, overall satisfaction, and the economic impact specific to the Wings Over Wayne Air Show for Goldsboro-Wayne County. Based on the sample size, the results of the survey reflect a 95% confidence rating with a 4% margin of error.

The detailed data from this year’s report shows the satisfaction rating for the Air Show was high, at an average of 4.33 out of 5, with 60% of respondents giving a 5 out of 5 for general satisfaction. The aspect of the Air Show that people liked best was the flying demonstrations, which were rated as an average of 4.83 out of 5. The headlining USAF Thunderbirds was the highest-rated aspect for this year’s show. The most effective form of marketing was the use of social media with over 50% of attendees hearing about the event via social media platforms.

Delving into further detail about the economic impact of Wings Over Wayne Air Show, the report revealed that while the event generated $6.4 million into the Wayne County economy, over $5 million of this was new revenue sparked by non-local visitors, who reside outside of Wayne County. Non-local visitors were recorded as spending on average $165 per party for the duration of their trip, and the average travel party was 3.5 people. Since Wings Over Wayne Air Show is a free event, the spending averages refer to accommodation, food, drink, shopping, and gas in Goldsboro-Wayne County.

Ashlin Glatthar, director of the Travel & Tourism Department of Goldsboro and Wayne County, said “I am proud of our office’s ability to produce a more detailed report revealing how Wings Over Wayne impacts our Wayne County economy, how attendees heard about the show, feedback on their overall experience, and better insight on attendee demographics. It took a lot of work to gather the data, but now there is a more accurate benchmark for measuring and enhancing future air shows. 152,000 is a lower number than […]


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