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.
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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, back to early June levels, and fall travel expectations increased to 35.9%. Even perceived safety of travel activities is now equal to June levels, with taking a road trip, shopping, staying at a hotel, and dining in a restaurant as part of the perceived low risk activities.

There is still quite some work to do in communicating safety measures regarding transportation, events, indoor places, and museums. Especially since some of these activities are still on the restricted business list for certain states and counties. As soon as these official restrictions get lifted, we will see much bigger improvements in perceived safety of these higher risk activities. To the same effect, 56% of American travelers still don’t want travelers coming to their own communities (lowest point in June was 52.4%).
Travel for Fall/Winter Holidays 2019 vs. 2020 (expected)
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From Destination Analysts' Travel Sentiment Report
  • American travelers recorded another measured gain in optimism about the pandemic’s course in the next month.

  • The perception of travel activities as unsafe is the lowest it has been since June 15th.

  • Americans have also demonstrated improvement in their state of mind around travel readiness, and Fall travel expectations improved to 35.9% from a low of 29.8% last week.

  • Americans prioritization of travel in their personal budgets is growing. Now, 43.0% of American travelers say that leisure travel will be at least a somewhat high priority in their personal budget in the next year and a majority of American travelers say the pandemic has not negatively impacted the disposable income they have available for travel. However, they indeed plan on being more budget conscious on their trips than they were prior to the pandemic.

  • Although sentiment is turning more positive, the pandemic is nevertheless still impacting travel at a high rate. 49% of American travelers have cancelled a trip due to COVID-19 and trips for the upcoming national Labor Day and Thanksgiving holidays currently look to be off by half relative to 2019.

  • Americans may need more information and assurances to move them to take trips, as 46.1% report that they are “not very” or “not at all” confident that they can travel safely in the current environment. In comparison, 29.7% feel confident or very confident they can travel safely.

  • Americans see travel as a means to achieving their desired emotional states, with over a third of American travelers feeling that if they took a trip this year, the emotions most negatively impacted by the pandemic would strengthen.

  • When asked how travel marketers could best reach them, email is productive across all generations. Gen X and Boomers appear particularly receptive to search engine marketing right now, while Millennial and younger travelers like travel marketing via Facebook and Instagram.

  • Americans with trips planned for the remaining 4 months of 2020 showed the most enthusiasm for beaches and mountains—the latter notably higher than what was typical pre-pandemic.
Website Insights for sonomacounty.com
Looking at the week of Aug 21-27, we see that the recent fire outbreaks in Northern California and the Walbridge in Sonoma County have decreased our website traffic week over week. Top content that people were engaging with: coast/beaches, Life Opens Up summer campaign and road trips landing page, the coronavirus info page, and editorial about Bodega Bay, Armstrong, wineries, restaurants, beaches, itineraries, outdoor activities, nature parks, coast, Russian River, Lake Sonoma and redwoods, glamping and camping, gardens, and road/bike trips. Our blog saw traffic for new experiences, unique food and wine experiences for fall, outdoor movies, black owned businesses.

In terms of city geo locations for website visitors we see our key drive markets on top of the list: San Francisco represents 13% of the total traffic this past week. Sacramento is still #3, Los Angeles moved up to #4, Oakland is #6 and San José is #8. We now see 4 out-of-state cities in the top 25: New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas.