STR Tracking for Sonoma County
Things to Note:

  • 49 of the county’s 112 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, Destination Analysts are seeing some further setbacks in travelers’ sentiment due to the news of increasing COVID cases in many states. The good news is that American travelers don’t expect further negative impacts on their personal finances and that their excitement to travel now has still increased to 48.3% from last week’s 46.1%. While cancellations occur for the next months through fall, many people are simply rebooking and shifting timeframes backwards while others are going on spontaneous trips within the next month to capitalize on the summer school break.

Sonoma County’s strategy in attracting tourists back to the destination should stay on course in light of these findings: initially targeting the Bay Area drive market, leading with outdoors/wellness focused themes and road trips, easing travelers’ fears with clearly communicated health and safety protocols, the Safe Travels Promise , and promotions initiatives via digital channels.
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From the 6/21 Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
With cases rising in several areas of the country, Americans concern about personally or friends/family contracting COVID-19 increased this week.

  • Now half of American travelers feel the coronavirus situation will get worse in the U.S. in the next month and less than 20% feel it will get better.

  • However, the increase in outbreaks has not appeared to further rattle their sense of financial security, as concerns about the virus’ impact on their personal finances and the national economy decreased.

  • The coronavirus outbreak also continues to adversely impact trips, with a notable increase this week in pandemic-related trip cancellations in the fall months due to the coronavirus. But there are indicators that these trips may be replaced with other travel. A month ago, 25% of American travelers said they would avoid all travel in the six month period after coronavirus; now just 7% say that.

  • The average American traveler reports they will take 1.8 road trips and 1.0 trip by commercial airline by the end of the year.

  • Excitement to take a trip in the next month increased from last week, as did openness to travel inspiration. Given this openness, travelers currently say they are most receptive to destination marketing in searches and social.

  • After reaching a nine-week low last week, the percent of American travelers who say they do not want visitors coming to their own community right now returned to 56.8%. Observing unsafe behavior by their fellow residents appears to contribute to this sentiment. Trust in people to behave safely should increase comfort in travel and tourism overall.
Website Insights for
The week of June 12-18 marks SCT’s first deployment of paid social media (Facebook and Instagram) and paid Google search initiatives since pausing mid-March.

Overall traffic to is up week over week by 27%, we also see organic search up by 31% over last week. Travel planning activities and guide order requests are up significantly. Year to date traffic Jan 1- June 18, 2020 is still down -33% over Jan 1-June 18, 2019, but we are narrowing the gap in recent weeks.

Top content that people are engaging with is the coronavirus info page (11% of all traffic), followed by editorial about what to do in Sonoma County this summer, outdoors activities, nature parks, coast, Russian River, Lake Sonoma and redwoods, glamping and camping, and unique accommodations.
Winery content is also back in the top 10.

In terms of city geo locations for website visitors we see our California key-markets strengthening: San Francisco is the top source for website visitors with a share of 14%, Santa Clara is #3, Oakland #5 and we see Los Angeles move up to #6 from #9 last week. The only out-of-state city in the top 25 is Chicago this week (for several weeks in a row).