Quad-City residents like being near the Mississippi River as well as its riverfront parks and related activities such as festivals, special events and live music performances.
Visitors, however, prefer the area for its affordability and Midwestern hospitality.
Those are among the findings presented Thursday at a meeting of the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau in Rock Island. MindFire Communications of LeClaire and Cedar Rapids conducted surveys sent via email to 700 area officials and residents in addition to 7,000 emails that were sent to those who had registered with the VisitQuadCities.com website.
Joe Taylor, the president and CEO of the visitors bureau, said that very little of the research came as a surprise.
"The research confirms that much of our destination marketing has been on target," he said after the presentation, "but we can refine it, we can tweak it and reach even more visitors."
The survey is part of a rebranding of the marketing for both the bureau and area attractions. By the time bureau members meet in mid-September, a new logo, tagline, brand essence and promise statements should be completed.
Taylor said one of the biggest downsides of the survey was visitors' unfamiliarity with the region's arts and culture, even though that was high on the list for residents.
"Even with that, the community has been proactive with Experience Quad-Cities and the East West Riverfest," he said. "We've gone out into the region with more marketing, more communications to talk about arts and culture here. We're ahead of the curve in that respect."
MindFire president Lynn Manternach said visitors to the area fall into four types: those wanting a big-city getaway, those wanting to see a historical river town, those seeking a cool and exciting vibe, and those who are after affordable family fun.