STR Tracking for Sonoma County
Things to Note:

  • 35 of the county’s 112 hotels reported to STR for the month of May
  • 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 small setbacks in travelers’ sentiment compared to the previous week. However, the good news is that 46% still expect to travel this fall and that road trips and regional travel will stay the number one preference, which positions Sonoma County as a great travel choice for the Bay Area drive market.

Clearly communicated safety and health protocols remain critical for attracting tourists back to the destination. It must also be noted that the news media will play a very important role in either reassuring or scaring travelers away from certain destinations. 61% of American travelers say that seeing images of crowded destinations will make them less likely to travel to that destination.
Destination Analysts Key Findings to Know
From the 6/14 Destination Analysts' Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Report
As a number of coronavirus outbreaks have recently emerged, expectations about the virus’ course in the United States have dampened. The optimism gap has widened again, with more Americans expecting the situation to get worse and fewer expecting it will get better. Some travelers that thought they would take trips this year have walked that back for now—this week there is an uptick in Americans saying they have no plans to travel in 2020 (although, about 70% still say they will take at least one leisure trip this year).

  • Expectations about the virus’ course have dampened.
  • Still, nearly 70% will take at least one leisure trip this year.
  • The majority of American travelers feel they are informed about potential Coronavirus-related risks involved with traveling.
  • American travelers generally give a thumbs up to the hotel and airline industries’ communication about measures they are taking to protect consumers.
  • Some 4 in 10 American travelers remain lacking in confidence that they can travel safely in the current environment.
  • A majority of Americans who will be traveling in 2020 say they will avoid crowded destinations.
  • Many travelers are feeling drawn to destinations they are familiar with, rather than the siren of exploration.
  • Poor “pandemic etiquette” behavior, which is then outed in media, will indeed adversely affect the desirability of and aspiration for travel destinations.
Website Insights for
Although all paid media has been paused since mid-March, we have seen a week over week increase in traffic and travel planning activity on the website lately. The week of June 5-11 marks a 35% week over week increase in total traffic and we also see organic search up by 34% over last week.

Guide orders are up 50% over last week. Year to date traffic Jan 1- June 11, 2020 is still down -35% over Jan 1-June 11, 2019, but we have narrowed the gap in recent weeks. Top content that people are engaging with is the coronavirus info page, followed by editorial about outdoors activities, nature parks, coast, Russian River, Lake Sonoma and redwoods, unique accommodation, virtual experiences, and restaurants and wineries with outdoor seating and tasting.

In terms of geo locations, the SF Bay Area is our strongest traffic source: San Francisco is the top source for website visitors with a share of 11% and Santa Clara is number 3. The only out-of-state city in the top 25 is Chicago this week.