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
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
Today's Takeaways
From SCT's director of marketing systems & insights, Ariane Hiltebrand
This week, Destination Analysts are seeing the third consecutive week of further setbacks in travelers’ sentiment due to the news of increasing COVID cases in many states. Now, people are increasingly cancelling summer travel plans and bookings are shifting to October with the biggest increases in travel plans for sometime in 2021. However, there is a big opportunity to still convince those 35% of travelers who are considering travel if the opportunity is right.

Sonoma County’s natural beauty and proximity to big urban areas, poses a significant opportunity to attract travelers from the San Francisco and Sacramento drive markets to spend some relaxing time away from the crowds, take summer family road trips and experience outdoors activities. Since over 55% of travelers say that they will spend more time planning their next trip, it is important to communicate the destination’s attractions but also the health and safety protocols to make travelers feel safe.
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From the 6/29 Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • 60 percent of American travelers feel the pandemic is going to get worse in the US—up 10 percentage points in one week.

  • Trip cancellations for July and August jumped up, and now a high of 37.4% of American travelers say they have no trip plans for the remainder of 2020.

  • Three quarters of American travelers are supportive of 14-day quarantine policies for travelers from states with high incidences of coronavirus.

  • Despite the backslide in sentiment, 35% of American travelers say they would have at least some likelihood to take a leisure trip that they have not already considered if a good opportunity presented itself soon.

  • The most commonly important trip destination attributes are uncrowded, not-too-expensive, relaxing, and fun.

  • Over half of American travelers say that seeing a travel ad would make them feel happy.

  • The features of a travel ad that would inspire the most excitement right now include discounts, pricing, safety and things to do information, as well as beach images.
Website Insights for
During the week of June 19-25 saw 2% week over week gains in traffic, while organic search was noticeably softer. This soft search behavior correlates with the emerging concern about the case surge in California and the more negative travel sentiment as surveyed by Destination Analysts.

Year to date traffic Jan 1- June 25, 2020 is still down -31% over Jan 1-June 25, 2019, but we are narrowing the gap in recent weeks. SCT’s new Life Opens Up summer campaign is driving quality traffic to the website with great conversions to visitor guide orders, e-news signups, road trips content engagement and listings views to spark travel planning and booking.

Top content that people are engaging with is the coronavirus info page, followed by the Life Opens Up summer campaign page, win a road trip page, and editorial about what to do in Sonoma County this summer, outdoors activities, nature parks, coast, Russian River, Lake Sonoma and redwoods, glamping and camping, unique accommodations, wineries and road trips.

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 now 18%, Sacramento is now #3, San Jose is #4, Oakland #5 and Los Angeles #7. The only out-of-state city in the top 25 is Chicago this week (for several weeks in a row).