PITTSFIELD, Mass. - The economic development agency 1Berkshire conducted a survey of the region's tourists this year, and the findings show drastic changes in who is coming to the Berkshires, and what they’re doing once they’re here. 

What You Need To Know

  • 1Berkshire conducted a survey of Berkshire County tourists in 2021
  • The average age of tourists this year was 41, down from 52 in 2013
  •  Outdoor recreation is now the number one tourist attraction in the region
  •  Performing arts venues were significantly hurt by the pandemic

The average age of tourists is now 41, down from 52 years old in 2013, when the last survey was done. 1Berkshire president Jonathan Butler said this shift is a good thing for the region long term.

“In the case of bringing people into a region, you obviously want to see younger people coming,” Butler said. “Because that means you’re going to have stability as the years approach, and those people age into becoming visitors in different stages of their life.”

The survey also found the most popular tourist activity was some form of outdoor recreation, polling ahead of cultural instructions like museums and theaters.

Butler said while the pandemic definitely impacted those numbers, it’s also a reflection on recent investments in outdoor attractions like ski areas and hiking and biking trails.

“Things like that were seen as very big visions maybe 20 years ago, but a lot of them now are actually starting to happen,” said Butler. “They’re tangible, they’re real experiences people can come here and actually have. It’s really becoming a huge portfolio of experiences people can pick from here in the Berkshires.”

Butler also said the survey found the performing arts centers were hit hard by the pandemic, and they’ll be looking to create new campaigns to help promote the industry as it recovers in the next year or two.