What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...March 5, 2015
Destination Tourism
California to double its tourism marketing budget

Doubling the state's tourism marketing budget will transform not only how California advertises its vast vacation resources, but also step-up its engagement with visitors across a bevy of platforms from mobile devices to television programing.

To do this, Visit California, the state's top tourism promotion agency, will double its marketing budget in the coming months from $50 million to at least $100 million annually, thanks to an increase in the assessments levied on hotels, restaurants, rental cars, attractions and other tourism related services in what's known as the Dream Big Dividend.


Source:  The Desert Sun. 

Hawaii's tourism industry off to a slower 2015 with lower spending, visitor counts

After a record-breaking year in 2014, Hawaii's tourism industry's 2015 is off to a slower start, as visitor expenditures decreased 2.5 percent, or $35.2 million, in January compared to the same month in 2014, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

"While the HTA projects flat or slight, year-over-year growth through 2015, continual slower growth raises concerns for 2016 and onward," Ronald Williams, interim CEO of the HTA, said in a statement. "Recognizing the cyclical pattern of the tourism industry, the HTA will continue to work with its global contractors and industry partners to address ways to sustain Hawaii's tourism economy."


Source:  Pacific Business News. 

Florida posts fourth consecutive record year for tourism

According to preliminary estimates released by Visit Florida, 97.3 million visitors came to the Sunshine State in 2014, an increase of 3.9 percent over 2013 and the fourth consecutive record year for visitation. The number of direct travel-related jobs in 2014 also hit a record high, with 1,135,700 Floridians employed in the tourism industry, up 3.6 percent from 2013.

Visit Florida estimates that 11.5 million overseas visitors and 3.8 million Canadians came to Florida in 2014, both of which are record highs and represent 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent increases over 2013, respectively. 


Source:  Focus on Travel News.   Read More... 

Sacramento-area golf leaders tee off on volatile state of the game

You can argue that golf in America peaked in 2005. More than 4,500 courses were built - 40 in the Sacramento area - in the preceding 15 years as the economy soared. And Tiger Woods, arguably the game's most influential torchbearer, was at the height of his powers. The sport was flying high in spectator interest and recreational participation.

But golf has been on a steady national decline since, and the number of players and rounds and money spent have slumped. For nine consecutive years, more courses have closed than opened nationwide. An economic downturn got the ball rolling, but changing lifestyles of young adults in the social media era makes a significant trend reversal questionable.


Source:  The Sacramento Bee.   Read More... 
U.S. demand for travel to Cuba rises amid thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations

Cuba is facing a tourism tsunami as Americans who can more easily visit the island rush to experience a frozen-in-time culture before it disappears.

More than two months after President Barack Obama first announced that travel restrictions to the communist island nation would be eased and several weeks after the release of less-stringent regulations, tour operators say inquiries and bookings have shot up while more travel providers have waded into the mix.


Source: Miami Herald.   Read More... 


Will a Strong U.S. Dollar Scare Away International Tourists?

Dream trips to Europe, Japan and Australia are more affordable for Americans now that the dollar has reached a 7-year high against the euro and many other foreign currencies.

"My U.S. clients heading to Europe are pretty jazzed about the exchange rate," said Sherri Doyle of Seattle-based Pacific Northwest Journeys.

But international tourists heading to the U.S., who collectively spend about $200 billion here each year, are starting to worry that the gung-ho greenback will gobble up their vacation dollars.


Source:  NBC News.   Read More... 

Study: Leisure travel intentions grow

The year ahead is looking good for the travel industry, according to the latest travel horizons™ survey released by marketing services firm MMGY Global. The January 2015 survey, of 2,300 U.S. adults, reports that 68 percent plan to take at least one leisure trip during the next six months, a significant increase over the level recorded in 2014, when 64 percent reported such intentions. The survey also reveals a continued positive outlook for business travel, and profiled current interest in vacation travel to Cuba.

Source: Hotel News Now.   Read More... 

International Travel is Back on Track... And Surging 

International trips by U.S. travelers surged a surprising 9.8% during the first 11 months of 2014, marking a full recovery in that critical segment since the economic recession, according to Resonance Consultancy' s 2015 Resonance Report Portrait of the U.S. International Leisure Traveler
That growth-and the demographic forces behind it-are directly relevant to travel agents, according to Chris Fair, president of Resonance Consultancy, which works with travel and tourism companies and organizations.


Source: Travel Market Report.     Read More...  

State of the Travel Industry - 2015

Travel is a primary driver of our economic recovery, helping to put Americans back to work by adding jobs faster than the rest of the economy. Projections point to continued good news ahead, though conditions and trends will be closely monitored.

Take a moment to hear the present and future landscape of the American travel industry in this brief video message from U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow.

Source:  U.S. Travel Association.   Watch Video...  
Lodging Industry
Why hotels really care about millennials 

Get out of the way, baby boomers. You too, Generation X.

Hotels just aren't that into you anymore. They're luring millennials now, giving a new generation of travelers what they want: a place to work while surrounded by others; activities that teach them about the local area; and a "cool" factor they can share on social media.

Millennials captured 26 percent of the travel volume for 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. That's up from 23 percent in 2008, according to the U.S. Travel Association. 


Source:  Fox News.  Read More...  
HomeAway Will Spend $100 Million to Show it Is Not Airbnb 

A day before it reveals its fourth quarter earnings, HomeAway announced it will launch an integrated marketing campaign next month that's geared to show it is not Airbnb, and it is not targeting millennials.

"As we've gone through that soul searching about what the company is I'd say the general conclusion we've come up with is that we decided it's more profitable for us to target being a better us than being a worse them," HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples tells Skift.


Source:  Skift.com.   Read More...   
U.S. airlines, hotel industry wary of Expedia-Orbitz merger 

The U.S. airline industry expressed concerns on Friday about the tentative merger of Expedia Inc (EXPE.O) and Orbitz Worldwide Inc (OWW.N), saying it could hurt the travel business, but hinted it would not lobby actively against the deal.

Expedia's agreement on Thursday to buy Orbitz for $1.33 billion marked the latest in a spree of acquisitions it and the larger Priceline Group Inc (PCLN.O) have made to become the world's dominant online travel agencies.


Source: Reuters.    Read More...     
Leaner Airlines Meet Cheap Oil: Profits Set To Surge

After more than a decade of bankruptcies, big mergers and billions of dollars in losses, the airline industry is headed for a year of surging profits, analysts say.

A big part of that surge reflects the sharp drop in oil prices. But airlines have also grappled with capacity issues, added more efficient aircraft and cultivated an array of ancillary fees to help feather their nests.


Source: Nasdaq.   Read More...      
Weak U.S. consumer spending points to slower first-quarter growth

U.S. consumer spending fell for a second straight month in January as households continued to cut back on purchases, opting to save much of the massive windfall from cheaper gasoline. 

Other data on Monday showed factory activity slowed in February and construction spending declined sharply in January, adding to signs that economic growth moderated early in the first quarter.

"Growth is slowing in the first quarter after a strong second half of last year. All the gas savings are ending up at the bank rather than being spent," Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York.


Source:  Reuters.  Read More... 



Destination Summit

Returns to Denver

 June 9-11, 2015


Last year over 250 of the best minds (and, let's be honest, personalities) in destination travel and marketing met in Denver for three days of hands-on training and best practices. Miraculously, most attendees survived so we'll be back in 2015! This year's event returns to The Curtis Hotel and brings even more opportunities to network and learn from global industry leaders.


The first 50 to register save $300. And book your room for just $199 through April 30 (or when they run out, whichever comes first).

For details, visit destination-summit.com or register now! 




DestiMetrics 2.0


We are excited to announce that we've launched a new website!  Check out our new look at www.DestMetrics.com .  This new persona is only on the public part of the website, for now, and is the first and most apparent of several significant steps toward our next-gen business platform and the underlying enabling technology that will set the foundation for our future. 


Internally being referred to as Destimetrics 2.0, an entirely new travel research technology platform is being constructed and with it, easier data collection and aggregation, expanded data storage, indexing and security, and more effective analysis and interactive reporting; all to provide new and more instructive insights in this evolving world where data-based decision making often makes the difference .

Please "pardon our dust" and let us thank you in advance for your patience.  While the process may include some inconvenience-of-change, we're certain you'll be well-served by the outcome and are excited by our ability to help provide insights that help you do better business. 


We'd love to hear your feedback so if you're willing to share, please shoot us an email at info@destimetrics.com.



Upcoming presentations and appearances


April 16 & 17

CRADR Spring Meeting

Whistler, BC


June 9 - 11

Destination Summit

Denver, CO


Note: If you're planning on attending any of these events and would like to schedule a time to meet, please contact Katie Barnes at kbarnes@destimetrics.com or 
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 Volume 52