DEMOGRAPHICS OF RESPONDENTS
Total hours served:
Up to 50: 14.39% | 50-100: 7.58% | 100-250: 14.39% | 250-500: 19.70%
500-1000: 22.73% | 1000-2000: 15.15% | 2000+ 6.06%
Hours served in past year:
<50: 38.76% | 50-100: 27.13% | 100-200: 27.91% | 200+: 6.20%
Year of certification:
1996-2000: 5 | 2001-2005: 20 | 2006-2010: 31 | 2011-2016: 77
Primary volunteer region:
Manchester: 99 | Concord: 36 | Monadnock: 7 | White Mountains: 11 | Seacoast: 15 | Lakes/Sunapee: 8
<40: 1.46% | 40-50: 4.38% | 50-60: 7.3% | 60-70: 40.88% | 70-80: 37.96%
Prior occupation (broad categories):
Accounting: 4 | Administration: 10 | Airline Pilot: 2 | Legal: 2 | Banking: 3 | Entrepreneur: 4 | Engineer: 10 | IT: 8 | customer service: 5 | Data: 2 | Defense Contractor: 1 | Director/Executive: 5 | Education: 15 | Management: 11 | Event Planner: 1 | Farmer: 1 | Government: 6 | Fire/Police: 3 | Parks: 1 | Graphic: 1 | General Healthcare: 6 | Hospitality: 3 | Human Resources: 2 | Insurance: 1 | Investments: 2 | Marketing/Sales: 11 | Military: 1 | nonprofit: 1 | nurse: 12 | Physical Therapist: 2 | Physician: 1 | Professor: 3 | tourism: 3 | delivery: 2
NHGSA volunteers also give their time to other organizations:
1-2: 43.38% | 2-5: 45-59% | 5+: 11.03%
52.55% prefer we stay with khaki pants year-round. With your comments, we have changed clothing distributors to lower the cost and offer more variety / fits.
Best ways to increase feedback:
Online form: 77 | onsite questionnaire: 63 | submit a paragraph: 15
Those who didn’t attend would like to read a combination of a general feel for the experience and facts, figures..
93.97% felt the tours were informative and relevant.
Comments were made about wanting more business tours. We are working with NH Economic Development and the Manchester Chamber on this.
Another comment was that tours should be offered at non-traditional hours for those who work. Our host companies aren’t able to provide us with free admissions and tours during their prime times. We are limited to early weekdays mostly.
Several asked about carpooling – we now have a way to connect everyone – see the carpool waiver page off www.nhgsa.com/gsa.
61% read it in full every week. 33.58% skim it. 95.31% like the new printable format. 95.45% feel it’s effective. 60.17% would like to see more chamber/center specific news. 50% feel the newsletter should be published weekly – 43.38% every other week. Content ideas: more kudos; more photos; visitor center / regional news; did you know section; more about GSA protocol; blogs…
Importance of perks when deciding to volunteer:
influence decision: 23.48% | don’t influence decision: 50.76% | no opinion 25.76%
Types of perks that would entice to volunteer more hours or at a new center:
more tour options; coupons or discounts; travel time credit; discount tickets to bring family members; free parking; learning based perks; restaurant certificates; lodging discounts to make a get-a-way out of it; more perks for those over 1000 hours; more panic button testing / instruction; merchandise…
Type of reward/award found most meaningful:
Certificate: 9.38% | pins: 35.93% | patches: 3.9% | gift certificates: 66.40% | public recognition: 16.40% | badge hang tag: 32.81%
Volunteer alone: 22.72% | volunteer in pairs with same person: 29.54% | volunteer in pairs to meet new friends: 33.33% | time slot matters more than person paired with: 62.87%
In down time, like to:
Do research on NH events, happenings and properties: 34.09% | socialize: 26.52% | read or enjoy quiet time: 21.97% | have projects to do: 17.42%
How does GSA enrich your life (highlight excerpts from common themes):
Enjoy meeting and talking to people; hearing stories; interaction with international guests; fills a comradeship void; like being in the industry loop; feel needed; new friends; enjoy sharing my passion for NH; learn so much; part of something big and wonderful; purpose; satisfaction; gives me someplace to be and someone to talk to; many comments about being a widower and getting back into life; sharing wisdom; exploring the state; constant learning; involvement; being helpful; flexible hours…
GSA REFRESHER WORKSHOP
77.24% would like GSA to hold one. 52.85% think it should be an in-person half day training; 22.76% in person – full day; 36% think it should be online; 19.51% would like to just read the information on their own.
What should be included:
Highest priority (in order): Customer Service; Safety Protocols; Educational Speakers; Center information & relations.
Lowest priority: Policy and Procedures; General Operations; Peer Relations
INFORMATION AND ENLIGHTENMENT CREDITS (IECs)
60.33 % thought we should offer a type of continuing education credit for attending meetings and trainings.
Participating in GSA has been a wonderful experience. It was great to learn more about my state and be able to share that with others. Volunteering at the airport seems a worthwhile use of time. It's so rewarding to be part of an organization that values community and seeks to help others. I enjoy being part of the travel and tourism booths at expos. We all need to find ways to " get out of ourselves" and be part of the bigger picture. NHGSA makes it so easy and so much fun.
Time well spent, stay active mentally and physically, continually learn things, meet new people and be a positive influence.
I would say that volunteering with the NHGSA is a great opportunity to meet new people, promote our beautiful state, and that there is the flexibility to volunteer as many or few hours as you wish!
NHGSA allows us to make new friends, learn more about our state, and know that you are giving your time to help others. Whether going to the BIG E, (which I had never even heard of until I became a GSA!) or helping with a special event, I have been able to have experiences and relationships that I would never have had the opportunity to do. It's fun being part of something so giving and good! Also I love NH and I love to show people why they too will love our state!
It's a fun program. It gets you out and about going places that you probably never would have gone to on your own. I have never lived any place other than the Seacoast of NH and it amazes me to learn all of the facts that I don't know about NH.
I have encouraged all of my retired friends to become GSAs. In the training I learned so much about tourism possibilities for visitors and my own friends and family. Being a GSA makes me a better citizen of NH.
I think when people find out it's all done online and if something comes up you can remove yourself that is a big draw. I remember when I first retired I was going to volunteer at a library and they told me I had to commit to a slot and if I couldn't make it I had to find my own replacement. That stinks. I try to remove myself with enough time for someone to replace me. Also getting to see all the different centers have to offer.
Educating New Hampshire Visitors to the events, people, places and attraction/restaurants available throughout our state. Remind NH Natives about the opportunities our State has to offer and educate them about the great places our State has available for a road trip which will ultimately enrich their lives.
I am very proud to be a GSA. The perks are wonderful and I know I would not be attending some of the great events here if I didn't volunteer. I probably wouldn't even know about them. I worked in Meredith for 3 years, but until I did the lakes tour I was not aware of a fraction of the wonderful things to do and see in the area. There is also all the wonderful people I have met since I started.
GSA provides many time-flexible volunteer opportunities. It's an chance to learn more about New Hampshire and meet many diverse, interesting folks.
I find it very rewarding. It gives you a purpose.
This organization is very therapeutic! You have a commitment (to get out of bed and mix with people) you learn new things which is so good for us. It develops a support group of new people in our lives. Also, we're helping people which is a good feeling!
GSA INDUSTRY IMPACT COMMENTS (selected a few that represent common themes)
The ability to impart information about NH to tourists to guide them have towards experiencing a memorable holiday in the Granite State. A major reason why this is important is because "word of mouth travels fast."
One contribution in my case would be when the office hours are not covered at some venues, people calling on the phone or stopping in are so happy to see a live person who can provide information, or suggestions.
We put a personal touch on every question we are asked. There is a face and a human being there to help rather than a computer that all of us experience so often in our lives today.
Volunteerism. This demonstrates how many people think enough of what NH offers to provide their time to assist tourists/travelers in an effort to make their time here more enjoyable and also to the benefit of the State economically.
We make tourists feel welcome and often provide helpful information concerning their travel plans. Really, we serve as a concierge service in many ways. We don't make dinner reservations and that sort of thing. But we do provide information on places to eat and stay as well as directions to destinations and useful bits of information to make a traveler's voyage easier.
Most of the GSAs I work with have traveled to a location or experienced the events that we discuss with visitors which makes it more of a testimonial than a sales pitch.
The NHGSA are very knowledgeable, with an in-depth knowledge of our state, and if there's something they don't know, they will go above and beyond to find the necessary information. The GSAs are welcoming and work hard to promote NH so that visitors will enjoy their stay and hopefully return.
I think the most important aspect is to bring GSAs into areas of the state that may not already know about us, or know much about us. We are an important group to bring through, as we are able to increase tourism to smaller communities (via word of mouth, website articles and social media) that may not be as well-known as the larger cities.
Our contribution is providing a friendly, helpful face for visitors to remember. If we can interact with strangers and have them think that NH, or even the USA is a friendly welcoming place we will have done our job and perhaps erased some of the negative notions put forth in the media these days.
Tourism is one of New Hampshire's most important industries. Mass advertising attracts visitors, but personal contact with GSAs not only can keep people coming back, but encourage them to appreciate our beautiful state and bring others with them. The industry cannot afford to pay enough enthusiastic workers to replace us.
At the State House we give tours and speak to visitors who come for business or political reasons, but leave promising to return - often with their families. They eat at local restaurants and may shop at local stores.
At Manchester-Boston airport travelers stop at the information booth to get directions and end up deciding to see more of NH on their way to Maine or Boston. The scenic route goes by local businesses and travelers often say they will return for a longer stay with the information a GSA has provided.
GSAs are a big help at Festivals, Expos and Events - always showing how "it's always sunny in NH"
Experienced, caring and dedicated people who enhance our travel centers, who allow organizations to provide better customer service, and whether it is the airport, the State House, a highway travel center or a special event, the NHGSAs bring a personal and professional touch to any and all event that has them there!
On a personal note, I am writing this while listening to 2 GSA's each meeting with traveling guests to our state, and they are giving them not only information, but a personal welcome and assistance. Our center could not do this without our GSAs!
I think that having a friendly helpful people as a face to people coming into New Hampshire is important. There are many people who are so pleased to be greeted by friendly GSAs when they get off a plane at the airport. I was once told that New Hampshire is such a friendly place to visit!
The fact that we are able to visit, hear about, and even experience for ourselves so many places that thrive on tourism money and can use this knowledge to provide visitors to our State with the fantastic vacation they are seeking. We can help them find those out-of-the-way places that can make their stay here really special... a wonderful memory... and the desire to return!
GSAs are the faces of NH. Our smiles and friendly manner are more important than having the answers to all the questions. Making a visitor feel welcome to our state will encourage them to return. And during our interaction with tourists, GSAs ask questions about other areas of interest and can provide first-hand knowledge of a variety of places or events that might fit with their lifestyle. Our enthusiasm for our state is infectious and is better than any map or flyer we distribute.