What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
Oct. 10, 2016
Destination Tourism 
Hurricane Mathew washed off three quarters of sand dunes, risking Florida's tourism industry
When Christa Savva returned to the Sandy Shoes Beach Resort a day after Hurricane Matthew brushed by Melbourne Beach, Florida, she looked at the beach in front of the pink-flamingo-colored hotel and noticed half the sand dunes had disappeared. Savva guesses three-quarters of the missing dunes washed into the ocean and the remaining quarter scattered onto the resort's beachfront property, which was undamaged by the hurricane.  "I was like, `Oh, my goodness!"' Savva, a property manager for the Space-Age-era hotel, said Sunday. "It's crazy to have the dunes gone and all you see is empty space."
The sand on Florida's beaches is the equivalent of tourism gold, and its disappearance over time threatens the state's No. 1 industry. 

Source:  The Indian Express.  
Hilton Head's proposed 2nd island could see guests in 2018, developers say
Hilton Head Island could start welcoming its first guests to a five-star resort on its proposed second island no earlier than 2018, developers said. The Town Council voted to accept a petition for annexing the 347-acre Bay Point Island during a meeting Tuesday. A five-star resort by Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas out of Bangkok, Thailand, is planned for the location. Terry Finger, attorney for Bay Point LLC, said it could take about a year just to get through the regulatory process. The process includes public meetings still to be conducted by the Town of Hilton Head Island regarding the annexation. Steve Riley, town manager, said Tuesday that several public hearings would be needed to zone the property. 

Source:  The State.   Read More... 
Become a 'Vacationaut'! New Ad Campaign Launches to Boost Space Tourism
A new advertising campaign seeks to turn Florida's vacationers into "Vacationauts" by encouraging people to incorporate rocket launches and other space adventures into their trips. Space Florida, a state-run space development agency, has teamed up with Paradise Advertising to launch the world's first publicly funded space advertising campaign. The agency is using multimedia to inspire people in Florida to add some space to their fun in the sun. Florida isn't just a popular place to hit the beach, visit amusement parks and ride roller coasters. It's also a great place for space fans, with both NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral launch sites just a short drive from Orlando, a tourist hotspot. Space Florida's "WeAreGoFL" advertising campaign launched Sept. 23 and covers every aspect of multimedia, from funny television ads about Vacationauts to a mobile app and 1960s-inspired vintage poster ads.

Source: Space.com. 
Efforts to lure international tourists paying off
Scott Wassner is accustomed to seeing a lot of visitors from Texas, Louisiana and Georgia while working on Pensacola Beach. More and more, however, the jet ski rental operator is seeing plenty of tourists from Germany, England, the Middle East and China as well. "People might not think it's the case, but we get a lot of foreign tourists," Wassner said on a recent afternoon as he readied jet skis for rental at Bonifay Water Sports. "It's still mostly people from Texas, but I do see people from all of the world," he said. That's good news for Steve Hayes, president of Visit Pensacola. Hayes' office promotes the Pensacola area and has increased its efforts to lure foreign visitors to the region. 

Source:  Pensacola News Journal. 
Food Luring More Visitors to Hawai'i
Experts Say Culinary Tourism is on the Rise, Both in the Islands and Around the World
Browsing the Instagram feed of TV host and celebrity eater Adam Richman, it's obvious this guy loves to eat in the Islands.
Kalbi, Laotian fried chicken from The Pig & The Lady, the cornflake French toast from Lee Anne Wong's Koko Head Café-Richman knows where to get the kind of food we (locals) like to eat ourselves. At last week's Hawai'i Tourism Conference, he spouted off names of local dishes and eateries like he grew up here: manapua from Char Hung Sut, pipi kaula from Helena's Hawaiian Food and yaki o paʻiʻai from Mud Hen Water. He's dined at Rainbow Drive-In, Side Street Inn, Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, Eating House 1849, even Papa Ole's Kitchen hidden in a strip mall in Hau'ula that's so under the radar, it could be considered a local foodie trade secret.  

Source: Pink News. 
The Governor of Virginia really wants his state to be a gay holiday destination
North  Carolina has lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory's decision to sign the contentious HB 2 - which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief. A projected cost of the battle so far, totting up the economic losses and legal costs, reaches a mind-blowing $395 million. But things are very different in the state's northerly neighbour, Virginia - which is marketing itself as a gay tourist destination. 

Source: Pink News. 
Vacation Rentals
Airbnb vs. Expedia: Top company insiders explain how the rivalry is changing 
How  people get to a travel destination hasn't changed much in recent decades, but where they stay once they arrive is transforming rapidly. Technology has given many people the ability to rent out their own homes, or even a room in apartment through services like Airbnb and Expedia-owned HomeAway. In separate sessions during the GeekWire Summit 2016, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Jeff Jordan of Airbnb investor Andreessen Horowitz spoke about competition in the market and the effects these companies are having on travel. When Jordan first learned about Airbnb years ago, he thought it was one of the stupidest ideas he had ever heard, primarily because he likes his privacy and the concept of renting a room in an apartment or renting out his house didn't sound appealing. 

Source:  Geek Wire. 
LeisureLink Ceases Operations, Leaving Many VRMs Unpaid for Reservations
Today, LeisureLink announced that it is ceasing operations and discontinuing use of its platform, leaving dozens of property managers unpaid for completed reservations due to homeowners. Earlier this year, LeisureLink raised a $17 million round of growth funding. The capital, provided by Clearstone Ventures, Kinderhook Industries, and Escalate Capital Partners, was intended to be used to scale company operations "to meet the rapidly expanding demand for LeisureLink's services." However, LeisureLink began laying off employees in late spring and implementing spending freezes by early summer. By July, it was common knowledge to industry insiders that LeisureLink had been looking for a buyer. 

Source:  VRM Intel. 
Airline Industry
Frontier Airlines continues to grow, goes on a hiring spree
Planning to expand to more warm-weather markets, Denver-based Frontier Airlines is going on a hiring spree with hopes of recruiting 800 flight attendants and 300 pilots by the end of next year.
Frontier is still one of the nation's smallest commercial carriers, with only 63 planes. But the airline's owner, Indigo Partners, wants to spread Frontier's new ultra-low-cost business model across the country, following the lead of Spirit Airlines, based in Miramar, Fla.
Spirit has reported one of the biggest profit margins of any airline in the country since Indigo bought a majority share of the airlines in 2006 and began charging fees for an assortment of services, including printing out a boarding pass. Indigo had been a majority shareholder in Spirit, but in 2013 sold its stake and took ownership of Frontier.  

Source:  Los Angeles Times. 
Airlines are now rewarding flyers for Airbnb stays
Airlines are cozying up to Airbnb. Qantas became the latest carrier to link up with the home-and-room-sharing platform. The Australian airline on Oct. 4 said members of its frequent flyer program can earn reward points for their Airbnb stays when they book it through the Qantas website. Virgin America has also taken notice of Airbnb's popularity and incorporated it into its frequent flyer program, Elevate. The airlines are becoming in effect a backdoor loyalty program for Airbnb users, which doesn't have its own rewards program like many traditional hotels do. Credit card companies have helped fill that loyalty void. 

Source:  Quartz. 
After the children leave, empty nesters desire to travel more
When children fly the coop, parents look forward to getting away, too, according to research by Peregrine Adventures and British Airways.
Both companies recently commissioned surveys to examine the plans, goals and aspirations of so-called empty nesters, adults whose children have grown up and left for college, the workplace or simply their own apartment.
Peregrine Adventures, part of the Intrepid Group, offers small-group tours primarily for travelers over the age of 45. Working with OnePoll, in August the company surveyed 2,000 adults ages 50 and older whose children had left home. Travel emerged as the top priority for empty nesters, with 44% saying they wished to visit a new place now that their kids were out.

Source:  Travel Weekly. 
U.S. adds 156,000 jobs in September; unemployment rate rises to 5 percent 
U.S. companies maintained their steady pace of hiring in September, helping the economy to add 156,000 new jobs, new government data showed Friday.
The unemployment rate ticked up from 4.9 to 5 percent, largely because the labor force swelled with scores of new would-be workers - a sign that Americans are growing confident enough to come in from the sidelines.
The Labor Department also revised its estimates for job creation in July and August, with the combined total falling by 7,000. The nation has added 178,000 new jobs in the typical month this year, roughly double the pace necessary to keep up with population growth.

Source:  The Washington Post. 

DestiMetrics brings on new destinations

We are pleased to share our new destinations who have recently joined the growing list of DestiMetrics clients.  We are thrilled to expand further in to the Sun & Beach market and look forward to a southeastern US hub where we can begin to see travel trends and report on regional data in the southeast United States.



For more information or for a demo, please contact 
"The Vail Valley-DestiMetrics research system is the backbone of our destination research and has become an industry standard for our market place. Their unique system and enabling technology, accommodates non-hotel lodging and provides us with a forward-looking reservation activity outlook, comprehensive year-over-year comparable data, and comparable industry wide data that are not otherwise available. The DestiMetrics data tools have become an essential part of how the Vail Valley resort community operates and have helped us to better understand our tourism economy and trends."

Chris Romer
President & CEO
Vail Valley Partnership
Upcoming Events & Presentations

Springer Miller Systems Host Users Group

 November 6 - 10

Tampa, FL


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November 9 - 11

Sandestin, FL


Phocuswright Conferece

November 14 - 17

Los Angeles, CA


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 Volume 66