What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
Feb. 28, 2017
Destination Tourism
Florida Politicians Push Forward Plan to Gut Tourism Funding
A push by Florida House Republicans to scuttle the state's economic development agency is moving ahead, despite fierce opposition by Gov. Rick Scott.  A divided House panel on Tuesday voted for a bill that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and cut back spending on tourism advertising. The contentious legislation (HB 7005) moves to the full House, which is expected to take up the bill in March. The measure is a top priority for House Speaker Richard Corcoran. He and other top Republicans contend the state is wasting money on "corporate welfare" and have questioned the need for Visit Florida to spend money on tourism advertising.

Source:  Skift.  
SC tourism exceeds $20 billion for first time
South Carolina's tourism industry topped $20 billion for the first time, the director of the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism announced Wednesday at the S.C. Governor's Conference on Tourism and Travel.  "This growth was the result of increased consumer confidence boosted by a favorable economy, including lower gas prices," said Duane Parrish, director of the tourism agency. "Add to that the enormous appeal of South Carolina's destinations and a tourism industry that promotes these places, and you have a formula for a significant economic impact."

Source:  GoUpstate.com.    
Maui room rates jump 13% as Hawaii hotels enjoy gains
Hawaii hotel room rates jumped 9 percent last week while occupancy posted modest gains, according to the  Hospitality Advisors LLC and  STR weekly hotel report.
During teh week of Jan. 15-21, the average daily room rate on Maui surged 13.1 percent to $336.34 while the hotel occupancy rate increased 1.1 percentage points to 81.4 percent.   Statewide, the average daily rate jumped 8.7 percent to $266.89 last week, with occupancy rising 1.2 percentage points to 85.5 percent.
On Oahu, the average daily rate jumped 9 percent to $240.22, while occupancy dipped 0.3 percentage points to 87 percent.
Big Island occupancy increased 4.2 percentage points to 84.9 percent. 

Source:  Pacific Business News.    
Hotel reservations down, SW Fla. beaches snubbed in top list 
The beach is the number one driver of tourism in Florida, so some are concerned with the fact that our region isn't even on the list - and hotel reservations are down.
For many like Deb Wybill of Maryland, reviews and lists from websites like TripAdvisor dictate where they choose to vacation.
"I look at what everybody says about where to go and what restaurants, you know what the rankings are," she said.
She was shocked to hear that beaches in Southwest Florida didn't make it on their annual list of the top 25 in the country, despite the fact that that 7 of the top 10 beaches were in Florida.

Source:  NBC Channel 2.    
Hilton Head rises anew after hurricane's wrath 
This lovely island just off the South Carolina mainland is as renowned for its hospitality toward visitors as it is for its Low Country cuisine and distinctive Gullah culture, the latter originating from the descendants of former slaves who migrated here after the Civil War.
One visitor, however, got a less than warm welcome when he arrived last fall.   On Oct. 8, 2016, Hurricane Matthew blew onto the island bringing torrential rain and winds of nearly 100 miles per hour. When he skipped town a day later, he left behind damages still being assessed but projected to be in the millions, and one paradise that, in a nod to poet John Milton, needed to be regained.   The good news is that it definitely has.

Source:  Telegram.com.    
Beach alcohol ban isn't stopping 2017 spring break turnout
While many are going through the Mardi Gras season, officials near our white sandy beaches have something else on their mind - spring break. Police are sending a message ahead of the crowds that there will be zero tolerance for foolishness, but that doesn't seem to be stopping the big turnout of visitors. The weekend following Fat Tuesday, umbrellas and beach chairs will start popping up on Baldwin County beaches as the spring break season officially gets underway. "What I've learned about, just anecdotal, from our lodging partners throughout the island, it's going to be another great year," CEO of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Tourism Herb Malone said. 

Source:  Fox10tv.    
Vacation Rentals
Hotel workers' union launches campaign against vacation rentals
Local Five, the hotel workers' union took aim at online companies like air b-n-b, with a campaign to influence the outcome of legislation this session.   An ad launched this week, focuses on the booming number of housing units taken out of the long term-rental market and put into short term.   "This is Kailua. This is Waipahu. Now, add all the homes in both places together that's how many homes have turned into vacation rentals by companies like air b-n-b from the mainland. 33,000 homes now, 399 more each month, 9,000 in Maui alone," is the voice over.

Source:  KITV4.      Read More... 
The Most and Least Expensive Cities for Short-Term Vacation Rentals in the U.S.
In search of the perfect destination to celebrate the holidays? Where you stay will take up a serious portion of your vacation budget, so before booking a flight, you should figure out what you can expect to spend once you're there.  Short-term rental websites have made it easier than ever to find a place to stay. They're helping to lower the cost of travel in major cities, and locations that were previously forgotten by the hotel industry now have a growing number of rentals from which to choose.
So which cities have the most and least expensive rentals?

Source:  Datafiniti.      Read More... 
Airbnb acquires social payments platform Tilt to simplify group travel expenses
To become the only one-stop destination for travelling experiences, Airbnb has now acquired social payments platform Tilt. The two technology giants are rumoured to have been  involved in acquisition talks for more than a month. However, the transaction has now been confirmed by  TechCrunch, but financial details are still missing.   It has been suggested that the transaction is valued at tens of millions of dollars, with investors receiving back as much as $12 million in cash. This falls in line with previous reports, which said that Tilt is being valued at around $50 million for this acquisition. But, one cannot confirm the exact numbers at this moment of time.

Source:  The Tech Portal.     Read More... 
Airline Industry
Airline Industry Demand Could Rise Further
In January 2017, demand for the top seven players grew by an average of 4.9% YoY (year-over-year). In fiscal 2016, it grew by an average of 6.9% YoY. Passenger travel demand is measured by RPM (revenue passenger miles).  According to the IATA (International Airline Transport Association), global airline industry demand grew 6.3% YoY.   Regional airlines continued to see higher demand than their legacy peers in January 2017. Ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines ( SAVE ) saw the highest growth, with 9.9%. However, this figure was substantially lower than the 19.9% it reported in 2016.  

Source:  Market Realist.    
Average airfare to top destinations in Mexico, Caribbean down this winter
The allure of Mexico and the Caribbean is undeniable for many Americans seeking a warm and sunny reprieve from another brutal winter. 
Fortunately, airfare to some of the most popular destinations throughout the region is down this winter, according to data from Airlines Reporting Corp.   Based on roundtrip air tickets purchased from U.S. travel agencies by February 1, 2017, for trips taking place between Dec. 1, 2016, and Feb. 28, 2017, ticket prices to nine of the 10 most popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean are down compared to this time last year.  

Source: myAJC.    
Interest in travel to the US has plummeted since the election of President Trump
The US could be on the verge of a tourism shock. Interest in traveling to the US from at least 94 countries has fallen sharply since Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president, according to Hopper, a digital travel agency.  Overall average interest in flying to the US declined 17% from the three weeks before Trump's inauguration to two weeks afterward, Hopper said, based on weekly averages of an analysis of billions of global flight searches. Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning residents of seven Muslim-majority countries a week after he was inaugurated.

Source:  Quartz Media.    Read More... 
Consumer confidence falls for the first time since Trump's election
Consumer confidence in the US economy fell for the first time since the election, according to the University of Michigan's bimonthly survey.
The sentiment index in February fell to 96.3 from a January reading of 98.5, which was the highest in a decade. Economists had forecast a reading of 96.   The rise in confidence, which remains above pre-election levels, has been one of the biggest economic stories since President Donald Trump won the election.   Other surveys of consumer and business confidence have shown that Trump's promises of tax reform and deregulation resonated strongly with many Americans.

Source:  Business Insider.   Read More...  
School Break Report
Now on sale!

The School Break Report will help you u nderstand the peak demand periods (a.k.a. school breaks) for the 2017/18 school year.  With over 1,000 public school districts and 500 colleges and universities nationwide listed by state, county and enrollment, there is no better way to pinpoint when school is out throughout the US.   We can even provide a custom report based on your top markets to drill down to only the information you need. For more information, click on the link below.
To purchase a school break report, please contact Katie Barnes
See us at the following industry events...

Mar 26 - 28
Banff, AB Canada

Mar 27 - 30
Banff, AB Canada

Stowe, VT
May 22 - 25
May 17-19
Denver, CO

To schedule at time to meet with us, please contact Katie Barnes at kbarnes@DestiMetrics.com
Quick Links
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn

 Volume 86