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Profile of 2008 International Festival of Owls Attendees.

Schuweiler, Andrea .

In 2008, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) provided funding to profile visitors to the International Festival of Owls in Houston, MN. Several visitor characteristics were of interest beyond demographics, including information sources for the festival, spending habits, festival experience and economic impact to the community. To that end, a visitor questionnaire was developed and administered to the International Festival of Owls visitors. An on-site questionnaire was administered to attendees. A systematic sample was implemented with sampling throughout and across the event. A total of 124 parties were contacted and 115 questionnaires completed which resulted in a 92.7% completion rate. Completed questionnaires were entered, cleaned and checked in SPSS version 15.0. The 2008 International Festival of Owls attracted a range of visitors from both the local area and tourists who found a variety of the events enjoyable. Results indicate that the International Festival of Owls provides an enjoyable experience among visitors, as evidenced by return visitation and by interest in receiving information on future owl festival events. The range of activities and offerings serve as an important draw but scheduling changes may be considered to enhance enjoyment, ensure target audience satisfaction, as well as extend stays. The live owl programs, kid's activities and banquet all served as enjoyable attributes for festival attendees. Expanding live owl presentations, sightings and opportunities to interact with owls is encouraged. Adding additional sessions with live owls or including owl sightings at other festival events besides the high school may attract more participants.

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Prepared in partnership with the The Friends of the Houston Nature Center by the Community Assistantship Program (CAP), administered by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.
39 pp.
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