STR Tracking for Sonoma County
Things to Note:

  • STR is comparing “Weekly Year Over Year”
  • 52 of the county’s 113 hotels report to STR
  • The average from other destinations includes: Napa, Palm Springs, Monterey, South Lake Tahoe, and Vallejo/Napa Valley
  • For more information on how data is calculated due to hotel closures, please refer to this document.
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Today's Takeaways
From SCT's director of marketing systems & insights, Ariane Hiltebrand
This week’s traveler sentiment update by Destination Analysts shows that American travelers are still open to travel and excited to learn about travel experiences, however, concerns about the virus have increased again. Due to the recent news about rising cases in some U.S. states and due to fear of a possible fall surge, people think the virus situation might get worse in the next month.

On a positive note, there are quite a few opportunities for Sonoma County to focus on fall travelers looking for suburban and regional getaways, open spaces, parks, relaxation, and culinary. The “workcation” and “schoolcation” trends are interesting for marketing to remote working people and families in the San Francisco and Sacramento urban centers, as these groups are looking for a safe, relaxing, and quiet space near a beach/lake/river.
Fall Travel Expectations as of September 28, 2020
From Destination Analysts
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • After a month-long period of relatively lower levels of anxiety, the number of Americans with high degrees of concerns about contracting the coronavirus rose this week. Similarly, after a stable period in expectations for the virus’ course, the percent of Americans who feel things will get worse in the U.S. in the next month increased.

  • These rising concerns appear to be affecting confidence that travel can be done safely and perceptions of travel. The percent in a “ready to travel” mindset fell to 52.2% after being above 54% for the last month.

  • Nevertheless, three-quarters of American travelers continue to report having at least tentative trip plans—primarily over the next 6 months—as well as exhibit a perception of travel as a means to meet their emotional needs. The percent that agree price cuts and discounts can motivate them to consider a new trip is as high as it has been during the pandemic.

  • Looking at American travelers’ specific expectations for Fall, nearly two-thirds expect to travel this season, and these travelers anticipate taking 1.7 overnight trips on average. The top motivations for these Fall trips are relaxation, spending time with family and escapism, although younger travelers are also likely to be seeking connecting with nature and having new experiences.

  • Nearly 40% of likely Fall travelers say they will visit a small town or rural area on their Fall trips, with beach visitation less likely than in the summer months and urban travel increasing.

  • Interest in workcations among those who can work remotely and schoolcations among parents who travel with children is at similar levels—just under half have a more elevated degree of interest. In total, 52.2% of those interested in schoolcations reported some likelihood to take one this Fall, while 46.0% of those interested in workcations said they were likely to actually take one in these coming months.

  • American travelers’ comfort with enjoying their own communities for leisure activities and having tourists visit their regions are at pandemic period highs.
Website Insights for sonomacounty.com
Prior to the start of the Glass Fire, we were seeing a +29% increase in traffic during the week of Sep 18-24 week over week compared to Sep 11-17, 2020. Organic search was also up +24%, which is good news for travel planning intent.

Top content that people were engaging with: Life Opens Up fall campaign, coast/beaches, the coronavirus info page, the fire info page, hotel pages and guide order page, and editorial about Bodega Bay, fall colors, wineries, restaurants, hiking, nature parks, and glamping itineraries with West County towns and parks.

Our blog saw traffic for the new Sonoma County tasting pass, what to expect after the fires, outdoor movies, and food and wine experiences in fall. In terms of city geo locations for website visitors we see our key drive markets on top of the list: San Francisco represents 13% of the total traffic this past week. Los Angeles is #3, San José is #4, Sacramento #5. We see 3 out-of-state cities in the top 25: New York, Chicago and Seattle.