What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
July 1, 2015
Destination Tourism

The Golf Coast: Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head put South Carolina among world's top golf destinations 

Golf How many shots would it take Rory McIlroy to hit a golf ball the 187-mile length of South Carolina's coast?

If the world's No. 1-ranked golfer were to use his average distance off the tee for every shot (305.9 yards), McIlroy could do it in about 1,076 swings.

On shot No. 41 McIlory would find himself at world-renowned Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. On his 357th shot, he probably would pause and reflect on one of his crowning achievements, an 8-shot victory in the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course. Stroke 966 would find McIlroy in Myrtle Beach at the famed Dunes Club.


Source:  The Post and Courier. 

Shark News of recent shark bites in Central Florida and in North Carolina could hurt the tourism industry along the coast.

Hotel owners and tourism leaders in Brevard County are concerned every time a shark encounter gets highlights in the national media.

Ocean Partners, which operates several hotels in Cocoa Beach, said business is currently above pre-recession levels.

Space Coast Office of Tourism officials are forecasting a 3 percent increase in Cocoa Beach hotel occupancy this summer compared to the same time frame last year.

But any reports of more shark encounters could sink those numbers.


Source: The Washington Post.   

Space launch parties The local tourism community plans to capitalize on social media to tout the Space Coast as continuing to be the place to see rocket launches - and will start having launch-viewing parties around the county.

The first such event will be Sunday morning at Space View Park in downtown Titusville, starting an hour before the scheduled 10:21 a.m. launch of a SpaceX rocket. The rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on an International Space Station resupply mission.  During the Space View Park launch party, there will be giveaways of neon-green commemorative T-shirts, sunscreen and other items.


Source: Florida Today.   

Sports Tourism

Golf course and country club management firm Green Golf Partners launched on April 1, 2011-at a time the golf industry nationwide was deep in the rough.

"There was a lot of skepticism in the industry. People asked us if we were kidding," recalled Matt McIntee, the Danville-based company's co-founder and CEO. "A lot of people got a chuckle out of our launch date."
With 15 courses now under management, more than 700 employees, and annual revenue just north of $20 million, it's safe to say the company was no April Fools' joke. GGP officials said they've been profitable from the start.

Source:  Indianapolis Business Journal. 

Wellness Travel: Discovering Inventory And Clients In An Emerging Market

According to Stanford Research Institute, the wellness industry is worth $494 billion worldwide, responsible for more than 12 million direct jobs and accounts for nearly 15% of all tourism spending. 

But that doesn't mean it's a fully matured market or that it has entered the mainstream yet, according to Josef Woodman, CEO of Patients Beyond Borders. During the recent, sold-out Well-Being Travel Symposium in Toronto, Woodman addressed travel agents interested in breaking into the growing wellness niche.  

Source: Travel Market Report.  Read More... 
Lodging Industry

Snapchat and the golden opportunity for travel marketing

Snapchat was the fastest growing phone application of 2014. And with 120 million active users sending over a billion snaps per day, the app is poised to grow bigger and faster in the coming years.

But wait... I know what you're already thinking. 

Isn't Snapchat just for teenagers to send naked selfies that disappear? Well, yes, to an extent. And that's what probably contributed to Snapchat's early success since its launch back in 2011. 

But over the years, the app has evolved to appeal to a much larger demographic (my mom already has Snapchat), and now you are able to post quality content to a global audience.


Source:  tnooz.   Read More... 
Airbnb poses long-term threat to online travel sites like Priceline 

Airbnb isn't only a threat to hotels, but to the online travel industry, Deutsche Bank analysts say.

In comparison to sites like Priceline PCLN, -0.17% the analysts see home-rental site Airbnb rising in popularity and potentially becoming a large competitor, especially if it adds more hotel listings to the site.

Beyond discussions of adding chains like Hilton and Marriott, the analysts say they're concerned about conversations of European hotels and bed and breakfasts "'salivating'" over Airbnb's 3% fee compared to other online travel agencies' 15% to 25% fee.


Source:  Market Watch.   Read More... 
Deceptive hotel booking sites raise alarms in Florida

The vacation package was too good to be true: A room for six at the majestic Pelican Grand Beach Resort in balmy Fort Lauderdale in mid-February for just $99 a night.

A woman from Atlanta booked a room online, paid in advance for a week's stay and showed up with five children in tow.

"You could tell she thought, 'Finally, I can afford a vacation,'" recalled Bob Keesler, the Pelican Grand's general manager.

This unfortunate family found a gracious hotel but some harsh realities. Rooms were more like $350 to $450 a night, all of them long sold out. Their reservation was nowhere to be found. And they, like too many other consumers, had been scammed by a fraudulent hotel booking site.


Source:  MSN Travel.   Read More...    

Stat: 60 Percent of Millennials Trust "Sharing Economy"

Millennial travelers putting their trust in the sharing economy is leading a decline in summer travel spending, according to new research by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA).

According to AGA's sixth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index, Americans will spend $85.5 billion on summer vacations in 2015, down 13.5 percent from $98.8 billion in 2014. The decline is being led by Millennial travelers aged between 18 and 34 that are more trusting of sharing economy services like Airbnb, Home Away, Uber, Lyft, GetAround and Feastly to book travel experiences. A majority (60%) of Millennials trust the sharing economy, compared to only 37 percent of all other travelers.


Source:  Travel Agent Central.   Read More...    

A holiday wish? Drivers expected to see lower prices at the pump than past five years

Many drivers hitting the road for Independence Day weekend are expected to see a little surprise at the pump.

They'll be paying less for gasoline than they have in the last five years.

"Over the last two weeks, the price of gas has actually been decreasing in Western Pennsylvania after several weeks of slightly rising prices," said AAA East Central spokeswoman Chelsea Pompeani. "The good news is the price of gas is still below $3 - nearly a dollar less than what people were paying last year during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. 


Source:  The Bradford Era.   Read More...    

Long-haul travel sentiment points at continued appeal of European destinations


Latest results indicate strong growth potential from long-haul markets for the European tourism sector in the coming summer holiday season (May-August 2015). Despite continued reports of volatile economic conditions and political tensions, survey data collected in the five key markets of Brazil, China, Japan, Russian Federation and the United States of America highlight the enduring position of European destinations in respondents' minds.

Key findings:

Destination Europe is top of the wish list: Four in five Brazilians, Chinese, Russians, and US citizens who plan to travel long-haul this summer, intend to visit a destination in Europe.


Source: eTN Global Travel Industry News.     Read More... 
Will virtual reality revolutionise the travel industry?

Even Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Facebook-acquired VR company Oculus, believes that it will be most widely used by gamers and enthusiasts over the next several years.

However brands in the travel industry are already exploring how they can use it to market and sell more effectively.

As detailed by Bloomberg's Jennifer Parker, companies like hotel giant Marriott, travel agency Thomas Cook and airline Qantas Airways are experimenting with initiatives around VR headsets.


Source:  Econsultancy.  Read More... 
Airline group backs down on plan for smaller carry-on bags

Carry on bags That didn't last long.

Citing "significant concerns raised in the media and by key stakeholders," particularly in North America, on Wednesday the International Air Transport Association (IATA) put on "pause" the "Cabin OK" initiative the global airline trade organization introduced on June 9.

"We need to get it right," Tom Windmuller, IATA's Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, said in a statement announcing a "comprehensive reassessment" of the program along with plans "to further engage program participants, the rest of our members, and other key stakeholders."  The Cabin OK program proposed new "optimum" dimensions for carry-on bags that, at 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches, are generally smaller - in some cases 20% smaller - than what most domestic airlines currently allow. 

Source:  USA Today.    Read More...  

The travel industry must accept freedom in distribution

If you go out to buy a new car the dealer will tell you the cost for the basic vehicle. 

Then they let you select the extras, such as sat-nav and sunroof, so you only pay for exactly what you want. 

It is now time for the travel industry to provide the same choices and this is why Lufthansa is introducing its Distribution Cost Charge.

In parallel to announcing the DCC, we had numerous talks with our partners and I accept that there is still need for discussion. 

There has been a wide variety of reaction worldwide, from consent and approval to criticism and outright refusal. 


Source: tnooz.    Read More...  

Real Estate
Vacation-home sales heat up in destinations across country

If you're thinking about buying a vacation home, you aren't alone.

Vacation-home sales across the country are soaring, mainly for two reasons: Declining prices mean deals are available, and empty nesters are flooding the market.

Baby boomers looking forward to days of leisure are snapping up vacation homes, particularly in beach resorts in the South and the West.  Vacation-home sales rose by 57.4 percent in 2014 compared with 2013 and reached a record high, according to the National Association of Realtors.


Source:  The Columbus Dispatch.  
7 Charts That Show the Health of U.S. Travel Economy in 2015 and Beyond

The state of the United States travel economy is healthy in 2015.

The travel and tourism sector in the U.S. made up for 2.6 percent of GDP-7.8 million jobs and $1.5 trillion in travel and tourism total sales in 2014-and has recovered well from the dual shocks in this century of post-9/11 slump and the severe financial crisis of 2007-2008.

The U.S. welcomed nearly 75 million international visitors in 2014, five million more than the year before and a seven percent increase over 2013, according to latest data from National Travel and Tourism Office, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. 


Source:  Skift.  


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Upcoming presentations and appearances


September 13 - 15

2015 Colorado Governor's Tourism Conference

Crested Butte, CO


October 1 -2

Central Reservations Association of Destination Resorts Fall Meeting

Canyons Resort, UT


October 6

 Summit County COO Breakfast

Summit County, CO


October 6 - 8

RezFest 2015

Las Vegas, NY


October 25 - 28

Vacation Rental Managers AssociationAnnual Conference

New Orleans, LA 


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 55