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 fifth consecutive week of further setbacks in travelers’ sentiment due to the news of increasing COVID cases and returns to more stringent restrictions in many states including California. Concerns for personal and national finances slightly increased again, while readiness to travel decreased further. However, now is the time to help travelers from the drive market to fulfill their summer getaway dreams. Since summer break lasts until mid-August and since over 40% of travelers are still excited about traveling soon these types of travel are now the focal point for both travelers and travel providers: family travel, relaxation and wellness getaways, road trips, culinary experiences and fun outdoor activities (beaches, lakes, nature parks).

The good news for tourism is that lodging properties are open and now appear low on the perception list of unsafe activities. Hotels, campgrounds and vacation rentals have done a great deal of work and communication on a national and local level to make travelers feel safe in lodging properties. When we succeed as a destination to make travelers feel safe and when we can educate visitors to make residents feel safe by adhering to mask wearing and social distancing, then we achieve a win-win solution for both sides in terms of economic stability and travel benefits such as wellness, relaxation, recharging and happiness. Please find SCT’s summer marketing toolkit and how to obtain Sonoma Safe Travels Materials here.
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From the 7/13 Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • A record low 13.8% of American travelers feel the pandemic will get better in the US in the next month; instead nearly two-thirds feel it will get worse.

  • Personal safety concerns are the highest they have been in three months.

  • A record 41.5% of American travelers now say they have no trip plans for the rest of year and only 35.7% agree they will be traveling in the fall now.

  • Americans feel the virus has made travel’s ability to deliver fun and relaxation, as well as culinary and cultural enrichment, especially difficult, if not impossible.

  • A majority of American travelers continue to say that too many people in their communities are not wearing face masks and not maintaining the appropriate social distance in public.

  • The percent of Americans who say they would be happy to see an ad promoting their community for tourism when it’s safe remains depressed below 40%.

  • Travel marketing potential does exist: Now 11.0% say they are already in a “back traveling” state of mind; another 11.1% say they are ready to travel with no hesitations; 35.3% say they could be convinced to take a trip this year that they hadn’t previously considered.

  • Travelers in the Millennial or Gen Z generations continue to exhibit less fear and hesitation and more openness and readiness to travel now. Men—particularly those with household incomes above $80K—also continue to index more highly for travel marketability compared to women.
Website Insights for
Looking at the week of July 3 - July 9, saw a marked week over week decline in traffic, which is normal, since the week leading up to 4 th of July historically sees the highest peak of organic website traffic in Sonoma County.

Top content that people were engaging with was the coronavirus info page, Fourth of July, followed by the Life Opens Up summer campaign 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 key drive markets on top of the list: San Francisco is the top source for website visitors with a share of now 19% (unchanged from last week), Sacramento is #4, Oakland #5 , San Jose is #6, and Los Angeles #7. We now see another out-of-state city in the top 25 next to Chicago, namely Reno. With Reno and Los Angeles gaining strength, we see early signs that our drive market is expanding a bit more now, although the current new restrictions in California imposed by the Governor, could lead to a pause on market expansion.