Today we are recapping valuable insights from our second-quarter (Q2) 2023 edition of ETA Wake County: Insights from real-time visitor arrival data, an award-winning stakeholder communication from GRCVB. ETA Wake County reports are sent each quarter to the primary contacts on-file for most area hospitality businesses and key attractions/venues as well as to our public-sector stakeholders. (A calendar-year supplemental version also is bundled now with the publication of GRCVB's Annual Report.)

The data and tourism intelligence inside each report are made possible through the Bureau’s paid partnership with Arrivalist, a geo-location and ad measurement intelligence tool for destinations. Some 700 points of interest (POIs) in Wake County, as well as 18 tourism-defined areas in the county (see map near the bottom of’s homepage for reference), have been geo-fenced by GRCVB and Arrivalist for aggregated tracking of smart devices' locations as they're being used by area visitors or residents.

Arrivalist-powered destination dashboards then paint a fuller picture of this device movement and the visitation trends for Wake County, for predefined points of interest (POIs) and for areas inside the county in near real-time—augmenting our Bureau's survey research or other “slower” methods of collecting business intelligence that were in place up to now. The ETA Wake County reports include our best estimate of all U.S. adult trips (not just overnight stays in our area hotels) taken more than 50 miles from one's home for reasons other than commuting.*

ETA chart

The full report each quarter also contains hotel-specific intelligence within a Lodging Economics Dashboard (LED). The LED's estimates again paint a fuller picture of countywide overnight visitation trends than has been viewable up to now through STR Inc.'s destination data currently being reported in GRCVB's weekly Tourism Talk E-newsletter. While STR's overnight visitor intelligence is confined to data that can be derived from hotel industry variables surrounding occupancy/nightly rate (and hotel class/location), the Arrivalist-powered LED adds visitor-origin intelligence useful to third-party marketers like GRCVB (for a sample of the overnight hotel stays).

Insights and Applications for Q2 2023

  • Around 46% of Q2 2023 visitors were day-trippers to Wake County who did not stay overnight in the destination at paid accommodations or private homes. 63% of visitors traveled 100 miles or more, which is virtually unchanged from 64% in the last quarter (Q1 2023). 
  • The top origin market for Q2 2023 visitors to Wake County was the Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville Designated Market Area (DMA, a 23-county region), and 62.2% of all visitors hail from North Carolina. Other notable origin states for Q2 include D.C., Va., N.Y., S.C. and Fla. These origin insights can help our business partners with ad and promotional targeting.
  • Out of 700 POIs tracked in Wake County, RDU International Airport saw the most visitor and resident arrivals in Q2 2023, followed in total arrival volume by Crabtree Valley Mall, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Village District, PNC Arena and WRAL Soccer Park, respectively. Of the top 25 POIs by arrival volume, RDU International Airport drew the highest proportion of visitors (55%) vs. residents of Wake County (45%) in Q2 2023.
  • Insights for accommodation partners from Q2 2023: overnight visitors from Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Greenville/New Bern/Washington and Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem DMAs spent the most with Wake County hotels across all hotel classes. Q2’s average hotel revenue per arrival was $386, up from $349 in Q1 2023. (Revenues tracked by the LED vs. STR's accounting suggest capture of approx. 47% of hotel stays with these data.)

If you didn't receive the Q2 2023 edition of ETA Wake County on Sept. 7 but would like to subscribe to all future editions, you may sign up here:

For data-related questions or even more insights, please contact GRCVB’s Hailey Post at or 919.645.2662.

*Based on usage of some 2,000 apps on mobile devices that also ping consistently throughout a trip away from home;
minors are excluded from data collection.