August 10, 2011 TDC Recap

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dear Industry Partner:

Although a TDC subcommittee workshop took the place of this month's televised TDC meeting, we wanted to let you know that each of the CVB's individual monthly departmental reports have been posted to the industry partner website as usual and are available for viewing here.

We're pleased to report that we've had a very strong season thus far, with bed tax collections for May and June setting all-time records for both of those months. These results come on the heels of a very strong spring, which posted solid gains for April and an unprecedented March, which neared the all-time single-month Bed Tax collection for Pinellas County. You can see the monthly totals on this chart from the tax collector.

Though we are showing signs of strength locally, we have our eye on the lingering economic uncertainty both domestic and abroad, so we thought we would share with you the latest U.S. Travel Outlook from our friends at the U.S. Travel Association. It's a dashboard of economic indicators and other news items that provides a comprehensive snapshot of how these recent developments are affecting the travel industry.

Of particular interest is the assessment of the relative strength of both inbound international travel and the overall U.S. hotel industry, as excerpted below:

Despite the challenging economic environment, the hotel industry continues to outperform many other sectors. According to Smith Travel Research (STR), in June, the industry finished the month with the highest revenue per available room (RevPAR) since August 2008 (+7.8%). Other year-over- year results for the month included: increased demand (+4.9%), increased occupancy (+4.2%), and increased average daily rate (ADR) (+3.5%).

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 5.5 million international visitors traveled to the United States in April 2011, a 13 percent increase over April 2010. Travel originating from overseas was up substantially (+24%).

The July travelhorizons â„¢ survey reveals an increase, although slight, in leisure travel intentions from last July: rising to 56 percent from 53 percent. Leisure travel intentions historically run ten points below the percentage of U.S. adults who report having taken leisure travel trips.

We hope you find this information valuable, and we look forward to continuing the strong growth and recovery our local tourism has experienced over the last year.

We also invite you to check out our 100 Days of Summer promotion, which is going strong as it enters its 25-day home stretch today. The campaign has generated more than 32,000 sweepstakes entries, 155,000 page views and 7,000 new page "likes" on VSPC's Facebook.

We look forward to seeing you at next month's TDC meeting on Wednesday, September 14 at 9 a.m.



David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater