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 now feeling “cautious” and somewhat “excited” about travel rather than “scared” as in previous months. 42.5% of American travelers were able to travel this past summer, and while destination spending was down considerably compared to a normal year (due to less spending on theme parks and attractions, etc.), these travelers have tested the waters and have now realized that many travel activities are safe. 37% of American travelers still expect to travel in fall, mainly on road trips.

According to the latest research there is still considerable opportunity to influence travelers who are undecided or waiting. Travelers actively look for resources on health protocols and regulations on government websites, followed by hotel and official tourism office websites. Travelers indicate that there is still room for improvement in terms of implementing safety protocols. This reinforces the importance for hotels and tourism offices to continuously communicate health protocols about sanitization, mask requirements and policies to make people feel good about booking a trip to Sonoma County.
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • Health and personal financial concerns, while still strong, remain the lowest they have been during the pandemic.

  • This lessening of fear has translated to travel. The average rating of travel activities as “unsafe” continued to fall this week to the lowest levels they have been since March 15. Over 30.0% of American travelers are confident they can travel safely in the current environment, another 24.0% feel at least somewhat confident.

  • There thus has been a measured rise in the number of American travelers who are planning travel: this week, 78.3% report they have at least tentative trip plans. The percent of those in a “ready to travel” mindset is at a pandemic-period high.

  • There remains opportunity for the travel industry to work together to improve safety perceptions around travel: Among those who traveled by commercial airline this past summer, 52.8% report feeling unsafe against COVID-19 at some point(s) during their flight. Such feelings were not as widespread while at lodging properties, but still 27.7% report feeling unsafe against the virus sometime during their stay.

  • The pandemic did appear to mute the economic impact potential of the travel that occurred this past summer. Over 56% said they decreased their spending on these trips to some degree, and 42.3% said they were more budget conscious.

  • One-in-five of American travelers report taking a staycation this summer. While over 60 percent said the staycation was mainly staying at home, two-thirds report doing at least one activity, such as day trips to area attractions and going to restaurants.

  • When it comes to a COVID-19 vaccine, 44.1% of American travelers said they would take it, although for the majority, some waiting period is preferred. Those who are currently less ready to travel are more willing to take the vaccine.
Website Insights for sonomacounty.com
Looking at the week of Sept 4-10, we see an increase in website visitors by 12% week over week. Top content that people were engaging with: coast/beaches, Life Opens Up summer campaign and road trips landing page, the coronavirus info page, the fire info page, and editorial about Bodega Bay, wineries, restaurants, hiking, nature parks, coast, Russian River, glamping and camping, sightseeing in towns, and road / bike trips.

Our blog saw traffic for outdoor movies, black owned businesses, picture-perfect sunset spots, what to expect after fires, and the new Sonoma County tasting pass. In terms of city geo locations for website visitors we see our key drive markets on top of the list: San Francisco represents 16% of the total traffic this past week. Sacramento is still #3, San José #4, Oakland #5 and Los Angeles is #7. We saw 2 out-of-state cities in the top 25: New York and Chicago.