What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
May 18, 2015
Destination Tourism

Strong U.S. dollar putting pressure on Canadian tourists

The strong U.S. dollar is putting a dent in some Canadians' trips to the Grand Strand this year.

The Canadian dollar is worth only about 82 cents in the United States, leaving visitors from the Grand Strand's top international market skipping their trips or spending less while they're here.

"You have to be very careful of what you spend," said Barbara Langley of Ontario, who arrived with her husband Gary on the Grand Strand last week for a 10-day stay.

The Langleys - like other Canadians who have visited the Grand Strand this spring - had already booked their trips so they still came even though their money doesn't go as far on this side of the border.


Source: Myrtle Beach Online.   Read More... 

Los Angeles and California break tourism records in 2014

A strengthening economy and rising consumer confidence pushed tourism numbers for California and Los Angeles to record highs, according to data released Tuesday.

California hosted a record 251 million visitors in 2014, up 3% from the previous record of 243 million in 2013, according to Visit California, the state's nonprofit tourism agency. Visitors spent $117.5 billion in the state and supported more than 1 million jobs, according to the agency. 


Source:  LA Times.   Read More... 

While SC tourism booming, golf lagging

While low gas prices and a brisk economy are expected to mean another record year for South Carolina's $18 billion tourism industry, the golf industry is lagging.

The Sun News reports that state Parks Recreation and Tourism director Duane Parrish told the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce on Friday that tourism statewide has shown significant growth in recent years.


Source:  WMBF NBC News Myrtle Beach.   Read More... 

Timeshares May Be the Secret to Hawaii's Tourism Growth This Year

Tourism officials say a growing timeshare industry will help Hawaii break the state's visitor record this year.

Hawaii Tourism Authority data shows timeshares were up 4.9 percent for the first three months of the year, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.


Source: Skift.   Read More... 

Orlando Becomes First Destination To Surpass 60 Million Visitors, Sets New Record For U.S. Tourism

Visit Orlando, the destination's official tourism association, today announced that more than 62 million people visited Orlando in 2014. The announcement marks a new all-time record for the U.S. travel industry, solidifying Orlando's position as the most visited destination in the nation. Visitation grew five percent from 2013 as visitors from around the world came to experience all that is new across the ever-expanding destination. 

"This historic milestone is the latest testament to Orlando's leadership in tourism," said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel.


Source:  Visit Orlando.   Read More... 
Sports Tourism
America Is Leading the World in Golf Tourism Growth

The Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood sign, and Disney World are a few of the first images that come to mind when tourists imagine a trip to the United States.

Golf courses, places for deep focus and quiet patience, are not on most tourists' mind - except those that are increasingly heading to the U.S. for that activity alone.

The U.S. is the fastest-growing destination for golf tour operators in 2013, according to data released by International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the global trade organization for the golf tourism industry.


 Source:  Skift.   Read More...    

Lodging Industry
Florida Keys short-term rentals under scrutiny 

The vacation rental website Airbnb has drawn the wrath of the official tourism agency of the Florida Keys.

A 22-page Monroe County Tourist Development Council report about unlicensed vacation rentals singles out Airbnb for its practice of not collecting sales tax and the county's 4 percent bed tax on behalf of property owners. The TDC uses the majority of bed tax funds to promote the Keys.

The agency recommends that local governments join forces to require Airbnb to collect taxes for all transactions in Monroe County. "If Airbnb should refuse to do, file a joint lawsuit as other destinations have done," the report says.


Source:  The Real Deal.   Read More... 
OTAs gaining bargaining power-now what? 

The recent slate of online-travel-agency consolidation has hoteliers speculating on what this means for negotiating commissions and the hotel-OTA relationship moving forward. In January, Expedia completed its purchase of Travelocity. A month later the company agreed to acquire Orbitz Worldwide. Not to be outdone, fellow OTA giant The Priceline Group countered with its February acquisition of Rocketmiles. The Orbitz and Rocketmiles acquisitions continue to make their way through legal channels. Expedia executives said on the company's first-quarter earnings call that they expect the Orbitz acquisition review to be completed by the end of the year. 


Source:  Hotel News Now.   Read More... 
Shopping Cart Abandonment is Still an Issue in Online Travel 

Shopping cart abandonment is a major issue across online travel. By and large, too much money is being left on the table. How much? In 2014, Boxever estimated that nearly $1.78 trillion dollars are left floating around as purchases not yet completed by would-be travelers. That's more than three times the amount that travel companies are actually raking in ($446 billion).

Note that $1.78 trillion isn't actually what would have been spent- people aren't actually planning on buying five trips from five sites. The question to ask is: How can my site make the customer convert?


Source:  Skift.   Read More... 
Zumba cruises, beach bootcamps: New tourism crazes marry holidays with weight loss

Fitness vacations have ventured far from the fat farm.

Today's fit-focused travellers want to pair exercise with escapades and fitness with fun, whether it's yoga among the sea turtles, bootcamp on the beach or a zumba cruise.

"Fitness retreat used to mean go away and lose weight," said Melisse Gelula, co-founder of the wellness media company Well+Good. "Now it's just working fitness into a schedule that might also include lavish dinners, beach time, cocktail hours, nights out dancing."


 Source:  Stuff.co.nz.   Read More...    

Europe remerges as top summer travel destination

Sojern released its Q1 Global Travel Insights Report based on the rigorous analysis of more than 800 million traveler intent data points across the globe. From a currency perspective, the report reveals that the weaker euro is attracting large numbers of global tourists to European countries this summer, while the stronger dollar has yet to have a negative effect on worldwide search and booking to the US. In February, Japan benefited from an increase in inbound travelers from countries celebrating the Lunar New Year. In March, Tunisia and Egypt suffered the ill effects of a recent terror attack and the announcement of tighter visa rules, respectively. Throughout the quarter, searches to Cuba were on the rise from the US, as well as from other countries around the world.  


Source: Travel Daily News.     Read More... 
Sojern Releases Q1 Travel Trend Data Based on 400MM+ Traveler Intent Data Points

Sojern, the world's leading data-driven traveler engagement platform, today released the top U.S. consumer travel trends from the first quarter of the year, including most visited destinations, most desired/searched for destinations, average duration of stay, average size of travel party and more. The trends are based on the rigorous analysis of more than 400 million traveler intent data points, obtained through Sojern's exclusive partnerships with the world's most renowned travel brands. 

Source:  PR Newswire.   Read More...    

Airline Industry
262 House lawmakers side with airlines in Open Skies dispute

A bipartisan group of 262 House lawmakers is pushing the Obama administration to wade into a dispute over foreign airline subsidies that has roiled the U.S. aviation industry. 

Unions that represent parts of the U.S. airline industry have alleged Middle Eastern airlines like Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines have received more than $42 billion in subsidies since 2004.


Source: The Hill.    Read More...  

US Airways likely to stop flying this fall

After more than 75 years of flying, the end is near for US Airways.

American Airlines plans to shut down the venerable carrier over a 90-day stretch that could begin as soon as July, which would mean a final departure around October.

American executives designed the gradual fade-out to avoid the kind of technological glitches and massive flight delays that plagued United Airlines after it abruptly switched to Continental's computer systems in 2012.

US Airways flights will slowly disappear and be replaced by American flights in a single reservations system. It's one of the trickiest parts of merging two airlines.


Source: MSN Travel.    Read More...  

Deflation? Oil's 45 percent rebound could be markets' next headache

Whisper it, but the next challenge for financial markets and policymakers may not be deflation, but the remarkable surge in oil prices from the six-year low touched in January.

Since then, Brent crude futures have risen 45 percent. If that is sustained or even increased throughout this year, inflation next year could rise significantly, posing questions for policymakers largely committed to ultra-loose policy.

No fewer than 27 central banks around the world have eased monetary policy to some extent this year in a battle against deflation, slowing growth or both.


Source:  Reuters.  Read More... 
Confidence in U.S. Ebbs, Catching Up With Spending Slowdown

Ever since December, the collision between cooling consumer spending and buoyant consumer confidence has puzzled economists and investors. The clash is over for now, and optimism has suffered.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropped to a four-month low of 95.2 in April, weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, according to figures from the New York-based private research group Tuesday. Government data Wednesday are projected to show purchases grew in the first quarter at less than half the pace of the previous three months.


Source:  Bloomberg Business.  Read More... 

  School Break Report

Now Available


Our School Break Report for the 2015/16 school year is now available for purchase, just in time to help you plan for next year.  It includes holiday, winter and spring break dates as well and school year start and end dates for nearly 300 public school districts and 300 four year colleges/universities as well as graphical depictions of year over year changes in break patterns.   Also included is a tabular view of schools by state and enrollment.


A preliminary report is available now, which includes data from more than half of the schools in the final report.  The final report will be available by June 1st.


For more detailed information and a sample report, click here.  To sign up to receive one or both reports, fill out our Sign Up Form and send it to kbarnes@destimetrics.com.



 June 9-11, 2015

in Denver


Join us for Hands-On Marketing Technology Insight and Training for Travel Professionals

 The 2015 agenda is a unique combination of high-level concepts, travel-specific best practices, and hands-on training presented by the best minds in travel.

 Check out the Agenda and our impressive Speaker List.

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

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 Volume 54