What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
May 2nd 2016
Destination Tourism
North Carolina and Mississippi See Tourist Backlash After L.G.B.T. Laws
The reaction has been swift. The singer Bryan Adams canceled his concert in Mississippi in protest against what he called an "anti-L.G.B.T." law, and the actress Sharon Stone decided not to film a movie there. In North CarolinaBruce Springsteen,Ringo StarrPearl Jam and Ani DiFranco have canceled shows in response to a law regulating transgender bathroom access. While the celebrity response is drawing considerable attention, the travel industry in each state is more concerned about lower-profile visitors: the everyday tourists who have already begun canceling trips or planning vacations elsewhere.

Source:  NYTimes. 
Panama City Beach grows to a year round destination
Panama City Beach has been drawing attention as a year-round tourism destination, according to tourism officials. Members of the Convention and Visitors Bureau say the area is in the midst of a seven-year trend of record breaking tourism success. Panama City Beach is growing in popularity across the nation, including with some major hotel brands. "Panama City Beach is poised for tremendous growth over the next three years as the investment community has taken notice of the value available in our scenic Gulf Coast communities," Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe said.
Source:  wjhg.com. 
Did Canadian dollar hurt desert golf this season?
Twice in the last week a subject came up in conversations at separate golf courses for separate reasons. How much has the exchange rate for the Canadian dollar impacted the desert's golf economy this season? It might not be a subject the average American thinks about, unless that average American is planning a trip to Canada. A dollar is just a dollar, if you are an American going about your everyday life. But for snowbirds from Canada, and for the golf courses and hotels and restaurants the snowbirds visit in the Coachella Valley, the exchange rate has been a problem in 2015-16.
Source:  The Desert Sun. 
Hawaii logs 13th straight month of record visitor arrivals
Hawaii beach March marked the 13th consecutive month that total visitor arrivals to Hawaii have exceeded previous records.
Visitor arrivals bumped up 0.8 percent to 786,262 visitors. Those visitors spent $1.3 billion or $183 per person per day, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. March's numbers helped boost year-to-date arrivals up 3.6 percent to 2.2 million and spending up 2.6 percent to $4 billion.
"Hawaii's tourism industry is fortunate to have enjoyed a strong first quarter, one that has the State ahead of last year's record-setting pace," said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of HTA.
Source:  Honolulu Star Advisor. 
Freshwater releases threaten Florida's tourism industry
Fort Myers Beach is by no means a ghost town, but local business owners have been impacted by the Lake Okeechobee releases all the same. Josh Stewart, the owner of Adventure in Paradise Boat Cruises and Tours said that when the releases were at their maximum in February, he saw a drop in business. "Definitely, we got calls pretty much every day about people asking how the water was," Stewart said. "We had some cancellations, but I would say we had more people just not booking." Adventures in Paradise is a family-run business that has been on Fort Myers Beach for 30 years. Stewart said in February that the freshwater releases at their peak were pushing foam up onto the beaches, killing grass beds and pushing bait fish further out into the ocean.

Source:  Eagle News. 
Case Study
The Transient Inventory Study
Recently DestiMetrics contracted with a client who needed helping understanding the transient lodging inventory in their destination.  There were several questions they were trying to answer.  1)  In recent years new developments had added incremental luxury lodging units to their rental pool so they needed to know what percentage of properties were high-end, moderate and economy so that they could understand the mix properties in their destination.  This would help with their marketing efforts and planning for further development.  2)  They needed to understand what percentage of their bedbase was hotel units vs. condos/vacation rentals.  DestiMetrics research had shown them that these 2 segments of inventory behave very differently when it comes to occupancy, ADR and RevPAR so it was important for them have this data as they anticipate lodging tax collections and visitation to the destination.  3)  Lastly, they were aware that the rent-by-owner phenomenon was occurring in their destination but didn't know to what extent and how that was affecting their professionally managed inventory, lodging tax collections and workforce housing.  
DestiMetrics went to work on counting each unit and pillow available for short term rental within this destination and was able to answer their questions with a detailed report and analysis.  The findings were presented to their Town Council and informed their decision to regulate rent-by-owner units by requiring business license fees and lodging tax submissions, resulting in increased revenue to the town. 

Lodging Industry
"We're off to a good start this year," said Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and CEO. "We continue to execute and innovate across our businesses to drive growth, profitability and shareholder value.  Our businesses are well positioned for long term growth and they are resilient, regardless of economic and industry cycle dynamics. Of course, disciplined capital allocation continues to be a hallmark and commitment of our company."  First quarter revenues were $1.3 billion, an increase of 3% from the prior year period. First quarter adjusted EBITDA was $291 million, compared with $279 million in the prior year period, an increase of 4%. Year-over-year adjusted EBITDA comparisons were adversely affected by foreign currency effects of $6 million in 2016. 

Source:  PRNewswire.com. 
With all the fanfare surrounding boutique, lifestyle and soft-brand hotels over the last few years, a casual observer might conclude these hotels are everywhere and well into their product development cycle. The supply of these rooms has increased at double-digit annual rates over the last five years, and in 2015 they generated room revenues of $13.7 billion. However, their distribution is highly skewed and many markets are greatly underrepresented or have no product at all. "The boutique hotel report 2016: Lifestyle hotels, soft brand collections & boutique hotels" revealed some interesting insights that offer great potential for new hotel development.

Source:  HotelNewsNow.com. 
Vacasa today announced a $35 million funding round - the largest of any Portland-based company in nearly two years. The vacation rental website had bootstrapped since launching in 2009, but now it's reeling in some serious cash in a Series A round led by Level Equity. Vacasa bills itself as the "largest dedicated vacation rental management company in the U.S." and offers a bevy of services - marketing, rate optimization, reservations, guest services, housekeeping, maintenance, etc. - to help homeowners earn money off their property. The company's secret sauce is two-fold. It uses a proprietary yield management technology that updates price rates daily based on hundreds of variables like weather, events, competitor pricing and occupancy, regional demand trends, season demand curves, and more.

Source:  GeekWire.com. 
An increasing number of people are using vacation rental and accommodation sharing sites to find unique and relatively affordable places to stay. Sites like Airbnb and Flipkeystyle themselves as pioneers of the new sharing economy, allowing homeowners to earn a bit of extra income by renting out their spare room or cottage. But recent reports are suggesting a very different story: in cities like VancouverLondon and New York, sites like Airbnb are actually contributing to a growing housing crisis by diverting rental stock that could have been rented to local, long-term tenants instead. One recent study done by Simon Fraser University grad student Karen Sawatzky found that more than two-thirds of Vancouver Airbnb listings were actually entire homes. 

Source:  TreeHugger.com. 
The Uber for private jet travel is finally here and it's incredible
JetSmarter is a brand new private transportation startup that many are calling the Uber of private jets. It is in a sense, but this company's model is even better. What JetSmarter does so brilliantly is combine three different services into one - free scheduled JetShuttle flights, last-minute JetDeals, and chartered flights - all accessible in a single app. Let's start with the free JetShuttle flights because this is absolutely out of this world. You can fly on a private jet, mostly Gulfstream G4s and Challenger 850s, for free on scheduled flights around the country: New York to Florida, Chicago to Los Angeles, San Francisco to New York, Los Angeles to San Francisco, Dallas to Houston, and more. 

Source:  BGR.com. 
Summer Vacation: Safety and Affordability Loom Large

Paris hotelSafety" and "affordability" are the two watchwords for summer vacation planning this year. For some Americans, that translates to traveling within the US. For other Americans as well as travelers of other nationalities, that means rethinking where to visit in Europe.  
The booking site Travelzoo found that 80% of Americans who have already arranged their vacations will stay in the US this summer. Of those, 84% chose to remain in the US based on safety and 63% plotted their trip based on affordability

Source:  Money Digest. 
  We're always looking for a good excuse to take a road trip-and this is one of the best we've heard this year: The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that gas prices will average $2.04 per gallon this summer (for regular gas, April through September), the lowest average price since 2004. As anyone who gets behind the wheel already knows, prices have been dipping since 2014, when they were closer to $3.59 a gallon, and they're expected to continue to drop. "For all of 2016, the forecast average price is $1.94/gal, which if realized would save the average U.S. household about $350 on gasoline in 2016, with annual average motor fuel expenditures at the lowest level in 12 years," according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy and Summer Fuels Outlook.

Source: CNTraveler.com. 
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Fell More Than Forecast in April
Consumer confidence retreated more than forecast in April as Americans' optimism about the outlook for the economy and employment waned. The Conference Board's sentiment index fell to 94.2 this month from a revised 96.1 reading in March, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a decrease to 95.8. A measure of consumers' expectations decreased to a more than two-year low. Sentiment has remained subdued as Americans digest election-year uncertainty and financial markets that are shaking off early-year turbulence caused by concerns about the global economy.

Source:  Bloomberg.com. 
DMX Mark
Attention Destination Leaders!
Can You Answer These Questions About Your Destination?
  • What is your destination's collective occupancy, ADR & RevPAR?
  • Do you know how your non-hotel accommodations are performing?
  • How are advanced reservations in your destination pacing against previous years?
  • Are your events driving overnight visitation?
  • What is the profile of your destination guest?
  • How many transient units & pillows are available in your destination?
  • What is your destination's mix of property types?
  • Are your tax collections increasing or decreasing due to rate or occupancy?
DestiMetrics can help you find the answers to these questions and help you apply the data to your destination planning, forecasting, marketing, operations and more.   

Presentations and Appearances

May 3
Stowe. VT

May 18 - 20
St. Pete Beach, FL

May 18
Denver, CO

June 14
Avon, CO

June 14 - 16
Travel and Tourism Research Association 2016 International Conference

Vail, 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 
Quick Links
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn

 Volume 62