What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
Jun 3rd, 2016
OPMA The OPMA members proposed and ratified a partnership with Ralf Garrison and DestiMetrics to initiate a Joint Destination/Lodging Research Program. This cooperative research program is designed to measure the OPMA lodging category to inform and educate local destination resort communities and to empower OPMA member companies with "non-hotel" metrics. 
With the partnership, properties will provide their data, in confidence, to Destimetrics who will provide the aggregated data model, systems, procedures and implementation. The research program will be funded by each Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) with the next market implementation in Panama City Beach, Florida. The DMO will also provide a local hub administrative resource and will solicit additional property participation.

Source:  VRM Intel. 
Destination Tourism
Why Florida must manage tourism assets like a finite commodity
You may have read about the Walt Disney Co.'s tiered ticket pricing - where Mickey charges more for tickets bought for peak seasons and less for slower periods. You may also have read that Florida tripped two demographic thresholds last year - we topped 20 million residents and 100 million tourists for the first time. Put two and two together and you'll understand the population conundrum facing the Sunshine State. The Florida peninsula is brimming with more people than ever. And it's only a matter of time before our top attractions, our 740 miles of accessible beaches and our very popular theme parks, become so crowded they lose their tourism magnetism.

Source:  Palm Beach Post. 
NC coast sees little impact from HB2 on holiday tourism
Wrightsville Beach_ NC Despite the controversy over House Bill 2 and transgender rights, businesses along the North Carolina coast reported little backlash over the state law on Friday as the Memorial Day holiday weekend kicked off.
Connie Nelson, spokeswoman for the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau, said 28 hotel reservations were canceled at 30 area hotels because of House Bill 2
Source:  WRAL. 
Florida smashes Q-1 visitor record, boosts tourism employment
Statewide, Florida smashed its first-quarter visitor record, welcoming an estimated 29.8 million tourists in January through March of 2016, Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday. This is an increase of 4.8 percent over the same period last year, and exceeds the previous high of 28.5 million in the first quarter of 2015. Although Southwest Florida didn't attain record-breaking visitor totals, there were noteworthy achievements in the first three months of the year. In Collier County, visitor spending bumped-up 1.2 percent year-over-year in Q-1 even as the estimated visitor total slipped by 3 percent.
Source:  New-Press.com. 
Tourism tradeoff: Gulf Coast visitation up in March except in Panama City, Panama City Beach
Spring break crowds substituted Panama City Beach for other coastal cities this year, helping to push visitation numbers up in virtually every destination on the Gulf Coast. "There was definitely an increase in the presence of college spring breakers," said Kay Magahan, public relations manager for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism in Alabama. "We have always been more heavily a family Spring Break destination." Overnight visitation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach rose by 28 percent in March, as shown in collections from the area's lodging tax, or bed tax, collected on short-term rentals. March bed tax collections in Panama City Beach dropped 41 percent year over year.

Source:  Panama City News Herald. 
Sports Tourism
Golf on decline, but playing with soccer ball may save it
Your columnist is no Olympic athlete. But I recently managed to play 18 holes of golf in just 45 minutes, without using a cart or lifting a golf club. And, no, this wasn't a video game. My secret? I was playing FootGolf, which involves kicking a soccer ball into extra-large holes placed on regulation golf courses. This new sport, spreading fast in California, is one promising answer to a full-blown statewide challenge: what to do about our glut of golf courses? In California, golf is not a matter of fun and games. It's a $13 billion industry that has defined our state's landscape, tourism, real estate market and the municipal finances of the hundreds of California cities with public courses.

Source:   San Francisco Gate. 
Vacation Rentals
A few years ago, Matt Heady asked himself a question that led him to create a new platform for renting vacation homes. The question? Would he be willing to share a five-bedroom luxury vacation villa on the water with others who shared his same interests but whom he'd never met? "I answered a big fat yes," Heady said. That emphatic yes led him to create Naples-based VeryUs, which he's marketing as a way to unlock luxury vacation rentals for less than luxury hotel prices. "We've developed a system that allows travelers and meeting attendees to split the cost of a house," Heady said. "But really it's not about just the eCommerce side of the business but the brand."

Source:  VRM Intel. 
Battleground Miami: Hotels, Airbnb Duke it Out Over Regulations
Is Airbnb a casual home-sharing service or a commercial rental business posing serious competition for South Florida hotels? That question is at the heart of a data battle spurred Wednesday by a report released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. The conflict has all the makings of an Uber-esque fight. The report claims that the proportion of Airbnb hosts using the platform as a commercial business is increasing - and making up a substantial percentage of Airbnb's local revenue. Hoteliers argue Airbnb has gone unregulated too long, allowing it to circumvent the rules and taxes enforced on traditional lodging accommodations - similar to the argument waged by taxi companies against Uber.

Source:  Government Technology. 
Lodging Industry
Following  the launch of book direct campaigns by a few of the major hotel brands, some articles have surfaced with unsubstantiated information questioning the value of the business through direct channels. Hospitality Upgrade sought the guidance of an industry expert to find out what the industry data actually shows. Kalibri Labs, a Rockville, Md. based big data firm maintains a growing database from more than 25,000 hotels and tracks all bookings, revenues and customer acquisition costs with a history back to 2011. Based on analysis provided by Kalibri Labs, direct brand.com bookings continue to be significantly more profitable than OTA bookings.

Source:  VRM Intel. 
Leisure Overtakes Business Travel
newly released survey from Airlines for America (A4A) indicates that U.S. leisure travel outpaced business travel in 2015. According to the report, last year, 48 percent of respondents took trips for leisure purposes, compared to 31 percent for business reasons and 21 percent for personal, nonleisure purposes. A4A's survey showcases the resurgence of Americans' interest in taking a vacation. Citing factors such as lower airfare costs, convenience and reliability, more people say they are taking to the skies - in fact, 80 percent of respondents were satisfied with their flight experience in 2015, and 29 percent said they will fly more this year.

Source:  Travel Age West. 
Long TSA Screening Lines May Suck Fun From Summer Travel
If you're planning to travel by air, be sure add some extra cushion to your itinerary to deal with security screening delays that Detroit Metro Airport officials say may become more common as the Transportation Security Administration deals with a critical shortage of federal screeners. Airport spokeswoman Erica Donerson told the Detroit Free Press that Detroit Metro hasn't experienced delays at the level of the one that turned Chicago O'Hare into a cot city Sunday after as many as 450 people missed their flights, but travelers are waiting longer to get through the TSA lines, especially during busy morning flights between 6-9 am.

Source:  Dearborn Patch. 
Consumer confidence lowest since late 2015 
Consumer Confidence Consumers confidence fell in May to the lowest level since late 2015 as Americans turned slightly more pessimistic about overall business conditions and the job market, a survey shows.
The consumer confidence index dropped to 92.6 from a revised 94.7 in April, the nonprofit Conference Board said Tuesday. That's the lowest level since November and well below the post recession high of 103.8 set in early 2015.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the index to increase.  One source of concern might be rising gas prices. Fueling up is still cheap, but not as cheap as it was several months ago. The rate of hiring across the U.S. also appears to have slowed a bit.

Source:  MarketWatch. 
Sharing economy to triple by 2020
The so-called sharing economy will be worth more than $20 billion a year by 2020 according to Juniper Research. The $20.4 billion figure is three times the $6.4 billion it thinks the sector was worth in 2015. Juniper identifies six core areas of activity in the sector and some new sub-sectors of sharing which will drive the revenue hikes. Transport, goods, services, music and video, space, and money are the base from which learning, municipal, health, logistics, and food can build. Juniper has already identified that ride-sharing will be worth $6.5 billion by 2020, and adds that ride-sharing is also leading the charge in what it describes as "collaborative transport" - the combination of distribution platforms, vehicle manufacturers, and new technologies to create taxi services which use autonomous vehicles.
Source:  Tnooz. 
FREE Live Webinar

Destination Metrics that Matter: 
Top 5 Metrics That 
Destinations Ought To Know
Wednesday, June 22nd
Noon EDT

During this webinar we'll host a round table discussion where DestiMetrics and industry experts will discuss the metrics all destination marketing organizations ought to be using to:
  • Measure their performance  
  • Plan for the future and better anticipate demand
  • Understand their market-share
  • Measure Special Event ROI

The panelists, who work with the top leisure destinations in the US, include: 

We hope you will join us!
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 Volume 63

Don't forget to register for our upcoming FREE Live webinar!
Destination Metrics that Matter: Top 5 Metrics that DMOs ought to know
 Wednesday, June 22nd
Noon EDT

During this webinar we'll host a round table discussion where DestiMetrics and industry experts will discuss the metrics all destination marketing organizations ought to be using to:
  • Measure their performance  
  • Plan for the future and better anticipate demand
  • Understand their market-share
  • Measure Special Event ROI
The panelists, who work with the top leisure destinations in the US, include: 
We hope you will join us!