What You Ought to Know About Destination Leisure Travel...
Jun 28th, 2016
Western mountain resorts are rockin' it this summer
Boosted by an expanding roster of events, activities, and attractions, aggregated summer occupancy for all western destinations is up 10.5 percent compared to the same time last year according to the Monthly Market Briefing released by Denver-based DestiMetrics* Tuesday. In addition to increases in on-the-books reservations for the six-month period from May through October, as of May 31, revenues are up a dramatic 17.9 percent compared to Summer 2015. Regionally, the Far West mountain destinations with a well-established summer product at resorts in California, Nevada, and Oregon was showing a 4.8 percent increase in occupancy and an 8.9 percent increase in revenues for the summer as of May 31. 

Source:  Colorado Biz. 
How Brexit could hit travel to the US 
Travel to US A plunging pound could be bad news for the US tourism industry, as British tourists start looking for cheaper destinations or even decide to stay at home.
According to the latest official figures from the US Department of Commerce, UK visitors accounted for $4.6billion (£3.5bn) of the $12.6billion (£9.46bn) the United States made from tourism last year.  With 4.9 million visitors last year, Britain sent more tourists to the US than any other country. It is one of the most popular holiday options for Britons outside of Europe.
The one small grain of comfort for British visitors is that the visa waiver scheme, which allows Britons to enter the US without applying for a visa, remains intact with the bilateral agreement between London and Washington as yet unaffected by last week's vote.  

Source:  The Telegraph. 
Recap of Regional Skier Visits
Utah ski resorts hit 10-year high for visitors
Utah ski resorts recorded a 10-year high for visitors this past season, likely fueled by good early-winter snow and buzz created by Vail Resort's merging of two ski areas into one mega resort. The nearly 4.5 million skier visits in the 2015-16 season surpassed the previous high of 4.2 million in 2007-08, Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty said Thursday at a news conference. The total also marked a 13 percent increase from the previous season, which was the second-lowest in the last decade. Utah ski officials opened the season hoping the "bigger is better" strategy would lure more skiers and snowboarders to all their resorts. With most resorts near each other east of Salt Lake City, skiers and snowboarders regularly try several different ski areas on one trip, Rafferty said.

Source:  The Denver Post. 
Colorado ski industry hits all-time attendance total in 2015-16
Across its 21 member resorts, trade association Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced at its annual meeting late last week that the 2015-16 season set a new mark as its best on record. The total of 7.4 million skier visits - the industry's standard metric for tracking participation - tops the previous all-time high from 2013-14, when 7.1 million skiers and snowboarders passed through the gates at the majority of Colorado's ski areas. "In looking at the end-of-season numbers, we just said 'Wow,'" said Melanie Mills, CSCUSA's president and CEO. "This has really been big. The cat's out of the bag that we have this product." Vail Resorts, Inc., which accounts for the state's other four resorts - Beaver Creek Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort and Vail Mountain Resort - is not represented by CSCUSA but reported gains of its own during its third-quarter fiscal results meeting this past Thursday, June 9.
Source:  Summit Daily. 
Western skier visits soared in 2015-16, up more than 50 percent
"Snow equity" It's the term ski industry analysts have coined to refer to the strong correlation among snowfall, resulting media coverage and the impacts of both on visitation. If you stood in a Tahoe Basin resort lift line at any point this winter, you probably noticed a few more folks back on the slopes than in recent drought-plagued years. Figures from the National Ski Areas Association and Denver-based ski industry lodging analysts DestiMetrics released in May illustrate just how significant the impact of this year's El Niño was on the West. "Snow came to the rescue in the Far West," DestiMetrics director of operations Tom Foley said. According to preliminary data from the NSAA, to which U.S. ski areas annually report visits and other information, visits for the southwest region (California, Nevada and Arizona) increased by 53.1 percent over the previous year, reaching a total of 7.38 million.
Source:  Sierra Sun. 
Snowmaking saved worst season in decades for Vermont ski resorts
Historical data indicate that Vermont's 2015-16 ski/ride season was the most challenging season since 1979-80, a year when all eastern states qualified for Federal [economic] Disaster Assistance status due to record low snowfalls, rain, and warm weather. However, while most Vermont Alpine areas saw less natural snow than the 1980 season when visits dropped 34.4 percent to 2.1 million (from the prior year's 3.2 million), snowmaking saved the 2016 season and helped to post 1.1 million more visits than the winter of 1980. After that winter, many of the 36 ski areas closed or consolidated while others got on the snowmaking bandwagon, which Bromley and Killington had long touted. 

Source:  Mountain Times. 
Destination Tourism
For decades, summer has been the offseason for ski resorts - busy with maintenance and on-mountain upgrades, but not nearly as bustling as in winter, when skiers flock and staffs swell. That changes this week, when Vail Resorts, the continent's largest resort operator, opens its new Epic Discovery summer projects at flagship Vail Mountain and at Heavenly, near Lake Tahoe in California. After pushing for federal legislation allowing more year-round recreation at ski areas on U.S. Forest Service land, Vail on Tuesday officially unveils the new face of the ski resort industry. And that face is no longer goggle-tanned.

Source:  The Denver Post. 
The death of golf may be greatly exaggerated, as the saying goes, but there's little doubt the sport is on the decline.  Evidence includes a dwindling number of players in recent years, which contributed this week to the decision by Dick's Sporting Goods to fire the PGA professionals who consulted customers in its more than 560 stores.
Often cited for the game's drop-off are the costs of playing, the time it takes, the perception that it's a game for snobs and modern distractions such as sitting in front of a computer.
But if there's one major reason for shrinking interest by Americans in golf, it pretty much starts and ends with the success and ultimate hard times of one player.

Source:  CNBC. 
Vacation Rentals
At a gathering of more than 200 mayors in Indianapolis, Airbnb officials on Saturday extended an enticing offer: Let us collect millions in unpaid hotel taxes for you. At first glance, the company's pitch is an unusual one. After all, who wants to be taxed? But it also is a clear sign that the online home-sharing service is trying to get out in front of an issue that has pitted the upstart firm against the traditional hotel industry in virtually every city where it does business. Hotel operators in Indianapolis and across the country complain that Airbnb is playing by a different set of rules, and it's disrupting not only their share of tourism dollars, but also government tax collections. In Indy, a 10 percent innkeeper's tax helps pay for things such as Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center and city tourism marketing. 

Source:  Indy Star. 
Ask Whistlerites to name their favourite B.C. town - second, of course, to their own - and you're likely to get one answer: Tofino. Locals seem to love their oceanfront counterpart, in part because the list of similarities between the two places is long. Switch your snowboard for a surfboard, the ocean for the mountains, winter for summer and you've got Whistler's Shelbyville (minus the rivalry - at least on our end). But it's not just the fun stuff we share; turns out Tofino is also in the midst of a serious housing crunch. A Globe and Mail article from last week ("Tofino, B.C. in 'desperate' need of housing for seasonal workers") starts off with the story of a surf shop owner who moved her family out of her house and into a trailer so her employees could live there.   

Source:  Whistler Question. 
Airline Industry
Airline stocks dip in wake of Brexit decision
Airline stocks were among the many casualties of the UK's decision to pull out of the European Union, with investors apparently anxious about how the move will dampen Transatlantic travel.
American Airlines, part of a joint venture with British Airways that allows the carriers to share revenue and coordinate schedules and ticket prices for flights across the Atlantic, saw the steepest plunge, with shares down 6.5% Friday morning. But Delta and United, network carriers that also fly to London, also traded at lower prices, down 3.7% and 4.7% respectively.  Even carriers that don't ferry fliers to Europe saw slight dips, with Southwest down 1.6% and JetBlue's stock price falling 2% during morning trading.

Source:  USA Today. 
Heading out of Town: Independence Day Travel to Break Record
Fourth of July It's going to be a busy holiday weekend on the nation's highways.
A record 43 million Americans are expected to travel this Independence Day weekend, with the overwhelming majority driving, according to AAA, a car lobbying group and one of the nation's largest travel agencies. This tops the joint record set last year and in 2007.  Lower gas prices, strong consumer confidence and a generally healthy domestic economy have led more families to take trips this summer. AAA estimates that U.S. drivers have saved $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to the same period last year. Gas prices as of June 20 were 46 cents per gallon below prices from a year ago.

Source:  ABC News. 
MMGY Predicting An Unprecedented Boom in Travel
Get ready for a boom year! If MMGY Global is right in its latest edition of its market research project Portrait of the American Traveler, the forces are aligned for an unprecedented travel boom over the next 12 months. "Absent an unexpected shock to the system," says the report, "the year ahead will be a record year for the travel industry." The Portrait of the American Traveler is a study that surveys 2,300 American households about their plans in the coming year. The data is updated quarterly to maintain an image in motion of the traveling public as it changes throughout the year. The survey is the only travel study that looks into the future, according to Peter Yesawich, MMGY Global's vice chairman emeritus.

Source:  Travel Pulse. 
These 3 Trends Are Redefining the Next Generation of Food Tourism
The biggest trend in culinary travel today is the growing diversity of food tourist profiles, and how travel companies are adapting to that increasing segmentation. A male Baby Boomer foraging for truffles in Provence has a different foodie profile than a Millennial woman navigating the Denver Beer Trail, or a Gen X family with two kids exploring Singapore's hawker street food stalls. All of them, however, share the same passion for locally contextual dining experiences, and they're willing to spend extra dollars on travel companies catering to their personal tastes. So tour operators today are busy trying to identify and define tomorrow's emerging food tourists and their individual preferences.

Source:  Skift. 
U.S. consumer confidence rises in June - before Brexit vote

U.S. consumer confidence took a step higher in June - at least, it did before Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 98 from 92.4 in May. However, the cutoff date was June 16, a week before the British referendum that has roiled financial markets.

Andrew Hunter of Capital Economics said the index was likely boosted by the stabilization in gas prices as well as the strength of the jobs market.

The present situations index rose to 118.3 from 113.2, while the expectations index rose to 84.5 from 78.5. "Consumers were less negative about current business and labor market conditions, but only moderately more positive, suggesting no deterioration in economic conditions, but no strengthening either," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement


Source:  Market Watch. 
"Anything that is watched and measured, improves"

- Bob Parsons
Founder, Go Daddy

We couldn't agree more!  DestiMetrics helps destinations measure (and therefore improve) their collective lodging performance.  This includes not only historic actuals but also forward-looking data based on reservations on the books.  Other "metrics that matter" that we help our clients track, understand and act upon include: 

  • Destination Wide Occupancy, ADR & RevPAR
  • Vacation Rentals - Their quantity and performance
  • Transient Inventory Studies
  • Daily Occupancy Report
  • Event Return on Investment Studies
  • Guest Profiling
  • Broader Economic Indicators & Market Data
We'd love the opportunity to tell you more.  Click on the link below to schedule a time to discuss our different program offerings.
Upcoming Events & Presentations

Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA) Condo Resort Forum

July 21

Steamboat Springs, CO 


Copper Mountain Homeowners Association Annual Meeting

September 4

Copper Mountain, CO


Central Reservations Association of Destination Resorts (CRDR) Fall Meeting

October 3 & 4

Alyeska Resort, AK


Onsite Property Management Association (OPMA) Fall Summit

November 9- 11

Sandestin, FL


Vail Town Council & Economic Advisory Council Presentation

December 20

Vail, CO


Let us know if you'd like to connect at any of these events.
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 Volume 78