Today's Takeaways
From SCT's director of marketing systems & insights, Ariane Hiltebrand

This week’s traveler sentiment update by Destination Analysts reveals that we are starting to turn the corner to more optimism about travel. People’s interest in travel inspiration and readiness to travel are markedly improving thanks to the vaccine rollout.
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • Across the country, anxiety was up this week, particularly about personally contracting COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on the national economy. But as Americans look out over the next month, they see an improving situation.

  • The proportion of American travelers who say the vaccines make them more optimistic about life returning to normal in the next six months (61.9%), the proportion who say the vaccines make them more optimistic about being able to safely travel in the next six months (56.4%), and the number of travelers saying they have begun planning and booking trips specifically in anticipation of vaccines being available (33.7%) have all risen.

  • More Americans are confident they can travel safely now, rising to 31.8% from 24.7% last week.

  • Americans’ openness to travel inspiration reached a pandemic-period peak, measuring 6.0 on a scale of 0-10. Those in a travel readiness state-of-mind soared nearly 12 percentage points to 58.6%, also the highest it has been in the pandemic. Excitement levels about travel in 2021 grew to 6.1 from 5.8 last week.

  • As Americans plan their travel for 2021, July is still the peak month, with 27% saying they have at least tentative plans to travel then. Currently, 31.4% of American travelers anticipate their next air trip to be in the first half of the year.

  • 48.9% say they will take at least one leisure trip in the next 12 weeks, up from 37.5%. Of those Americans who will travel, they anticipate 1.7 overnight trips on average, largely within 250-miles of where they live.

  • 43.0% of American travelers say discounts and price cuts can motivate them to take a trip they had not previously considered — a 43-week high.

  • With the important increase in Americans’ desire for travel inspiration, content found through search engines, email and travel/lifestyle magazines are good bets for travel marketers across generations, while streaming video services and social media are also key for inspiring younger travelers.
Website Insights for
During the post-holiday period of Jan 1-7, 2021, the top content that people were engaging with on the website was: the coronavirus page, and coastal and outdoors content. Our blog saw traffic for what to expect after the fires, outdoor movies, wineries open, and black owned businesses.

San Francisco represents 11% of the total traffic this past week. San José is #6, Sacramento is #7, Oakland is #8, Los Angeles is #11. We see 3 out-of-state cities in the top 25: New York, Boston, and Chicago.
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.
Smith Travel Research (STR) is the recognized leader in hospitality industry benchmarking around the globe. Powered by the world's largest hotel data sample, they deliver confidential data, accurate and actionable insights, and comprehensive solutions to empower decisions. Discover how STR collects data, how it is calculated, and a glossary of terms, by clicking here