STR Tracking for Sonoma County
Things to Note:

  • STR is comparing “Weekly Year Over Year”
  • 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 further improvements for most travel sentiment metrics. It is encouraging to see that travelers now like to visit cities again right after beaches and before small towns. With fall and holiday travel season around the corner, we find that one third of American travelers have at least tentative plans for the remainder of 2020.

This still does not promise any resurgence of travel activity back to normal anytime soon, but families seem to intend to travel more than expected. Travel providers might want to think about developing incentives for families to take weekend getaway trips with educational and fun components for school-age children who are dealing with the physical confinement of distance learning. 
Dining Out & Visiting Outdoor Attractions in the time of COVID
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From the 8/25 Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • Americans’ optimism about the pandemic improving grew this past week. Nearly one in five feel the pandemic will be resolved before the conclusion of 2020.

  • Three-quarters of American travelers continue to report that they at least have tentative leisure trip plans in the next 16 months, although leisure air travel still looks to take until at least 2021 until Americans are back to pre-pandemic comfort levels.

  • For the remainder of 2020, approximately one-third of American travelers have at least tentative trip plans.

  • In looking further at Americans with plans to travel this year, nearly half say that the COVID-19 situation has changed the travel experiences they are seeking. These travelers continue to most commonly express that spending time with loved ones is paramount, and look to be prioritizing enjoying nature, avoiding crowds. The pursuit of relaxation and finding peace of mind, amidst having fun and happiness will also be key in these travelers’ plans.

  • In terms of the destinations that will be chosen for trips in the remainder of 2020, 70.4% of these travelers say they are likely to return to a destination they have previously visited, 42.0% still plan to visit a beach this year, 37.8% say they will visit a city, and 34.8% name small towns and rural areas as a trip destination.

  • Half of American travelers report dining out at a restaurant in the past two months and 20.5% say they have visited an outdoor attraction. For those who have not engaged in these activities, general coronavirus safety concerns, particularly the ability to maintain social distancing, are the top reasons for their avoidance.

  • When it comes to the pandemic’s impact on in-person education and the consequent travel plans of parents of school-age children, 37.2% say the uncertainty has made them more likely to travel this Fall, while 20.4% say it makes them less likely.
Website Insights for
Looking at the week of Aug 14-20, we see that the recent fire outbreaks in Northern California are starting to impact our website traffic and content interests this week. With advertising paused for the time being, overall traffic to has slightly decreased by 5.3% week over week, but organic search is up by 1% over last week.

Top content that people were engaging with: Austin Creek SRA, coast/beaches, Life Opens Up summer campaign and road trips landing page, the coronavirus info page, and editorial about wineries, outdoor activities, nature parks, coast, Russian River, Lake Sonoma and redwoods, glamping and camping, gardens, and road / bike trips. Our blog saw traffic for black owned businesses, new experiences in Sonoma County, outdoor movies, tasting by bike, and sunset spots.

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 17%, Sacramento is #3, Oakland #5, Los Angeles is #6, and San José #7. We saw 3 out-of-state cities in the top 25: New York, Chicago and Seattle.