Today's Takeaways
From SCT's director of marketing systems & insights, Ariane Hiltebrand
This week’s traveler sentiment update by Destination Analysts shows worsening impacts on travel for near-term travel plans. Nevertheless, most American travelers are reporting that they have tentative trip plans for 2021 and many are optimistic about travel returning within the next six months. Acceptance and confidence in the multiple vaccine candidates’ ability to end the pandemic and ease travel restrictions is increasing among American Travelers.
Top Channels for Travel Inspiration Among Americans Most Ready to Travel From Destination Analysts (as of December 13th)
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • After dipping last week, Americans’ anxiety about the coronavirus came on strong again this week— both from a personal health and financial standpoint.

  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the current pandemic situation makes them less likely to travel over the next three months. 48.4% report they cancelled or postponed a trip specifically because of this current surge.

  • Positive vaccine news is appearing to have a profound effect. 58.9% of Americans are back to feeling that the vaccine developments make them more optimistic about life returning to normal in the next six months, while 51.0% say the vaccines makes them more optimistic they can travel safely by then. 

  • The pandemic has, unsurprisingly, most weakened Americans’ sense of physical safety, as well as, sadly, their excitement about the future.

  • Americans continue to exhibit receptivity to travel marketing for future trips. 50.1% continued to show higher degrees of excitement about taking a getaway soon, and 45.7% continue to have higher levels of openness to travel inspiration. The percent of Americans who recalls seeing a travel advertisement recently has risen steadily since May.

  • The percent of American travelers who have at least tentative plans to attend a convention or conference in the next year has risen to 23.5% from 15.7% two months ago. Comfort attending these events starts to grow in June 2021 and continues throughout the subsequent months.

  • Those who have traveled for conventions in the last two years, 51.7% say they prefer in-person events. Yet, greater than one in five of these travelers (22.0%) say they prefer hybrid meetings. However, the destination in which a meeting is held could still sway a preference for in-person.
Website Insights for
During the period of Dec 4-10, the top content that people were engaging with on the website was: the coronavirus page, holidays content, Bodega Bay and coast, crab season, and wineries. Our blog saw traffic for 12 days of holidays guide, holiday food gifts, wineries open Christmas Eve and New Year’s, and outdoor movies. San Francisco represents 13% of the total traffic this past week. San José moved down to #8, Oakland moved up to #9, Sacramento moved down to #10, Los Angeles moved down to #11. We see 4 out-of-state cities in the top 25: New York, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle.
November Was Worst Month of U.S. Travel Since May
According to Skift Research’s latest U.S. Travel Tracker survey, only 32% of Americans traveled in November, despite the Thanksgiving holiday, a decrease from 38% in October. This marks the lowest travel incidence rate since May.
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