Tourism Office News - January 2014

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January 2014
Prescott Office of Tourism 
Partners Newsletter

Prescott's 150th Birthday Celebration in 2014!

The City of Prescott will be celebrating our Sesquicentennial (150th Birthday!) the weekend of May 30th to June 1, 2014. The celebration will start with a formal ceremony and proclamation at 5:00 p.m. on the north side of Courthouse Plaza on Friday afternoon followed by a 150-foot birthday cake and music. Sharlot Hall Museum will host a formal reception and ball following the formal proclamation (check with Sharlot Hall Museum for details). Friday afternoon through Sunday, there will be a western village celebrating the "Old West, "Wild West" and "New West" with living history displays, attractions and food vendors on the football field at Mile Hi Middle School (corner of Montezuma and Goodwin). Live music and a beer garden will be available on the south side of the Courthouse Plaza with family-friendly rides and attractions on Cortez Street and the north side of Courthouse Plaza all day Saturday and Sunday.


This will be a privately funded event and the organizing committee has sponsorship packages available. Please contact Don Prince or Dave Maurer at the Prescott Chamber of Commerce for additional information.


For additional information, or to volunteer, please contact the Committee Chair, Neil Thomas, at: 928-499-0699.


Tourism Newsletter for January, 2014

The December Bed Tax report (reflecting November sales) was up 5.6% over the same month last year. Smith Travel Research reports November hotel occupancy was up 8.4%, average daily rate (ADR) was up 0.9% and revenue per available room (RevPAR) was up 9.4%. Over the past 12 months Occupancy is up 4.5%, ADR is up 2.5% and RevPAR is up 7.1% with Bed Tax up 6.9% Year-to-Date.


Tourism Stats

- 204 brochure requests fulfilled during December

- 10,461 Subscribers for monthly consumer/trade/media e-newsletters (up by 2,309 since last   month - mostly due to additional trade contacts)

- 163 "Book Direct" referrals to Prescott hotels during December

- Facebook: 2,225 "Likes"

- Twitter: 1,853 followers


Prescott Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center Report

Walk-Ins: 2,225   International Walk-Ins: 67    Phone calls for tourism information: 1,398


January Travel and Trade Shows

The Prescott Office of Tourism will be attending the American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace in Nashville, TN January 12-14. This trade show features pre-scheduled appointments conducted at the tour operator's booth. A trade show report will completed following the show with copies available upon request with any leads distributed as soon as possible following the trade show.


We will also have a booth at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show January 17-19. The Travel Show is open to travel agents on Friday and open to the general public on Saturday and Sunday. Los Angeles is our second most important visitor origin market following the Metro Phoenix area and this show allows us to meet with hundreds of potential visitors as well as travel agents and some travel media.


Industry News

Survey: Business Travel Expected to Increase in 2014

Business travel is expected to increase significantly in 2014, sparking growth in the travel and hospitality industries, according to a recent survey conducted by Frequent Business Traveler magazine.


This marks the second consecutive year more than one-third (35.7 percent) of business travelers surveyed said they will travel more in the coming year than the current one, while almost half (47.2 percent) said they will travel the same amount.


But with growth in business travel comes more demand for quality service. So far, hotels and airlines haven't generally inspired travelers. Of those surveyed, 88 percent of hotel guests and 76 percent of airline passengers said their experiences were "inconsistent." Last year, 83 percent of hotel guests and 77 percent of airline passengers said the same thing.


"Business travelers are professional travelers and they need to balance this aspect of their lives with getting the job done when they get to their destination," said Jonathan Spira, Frequent Business Traveler magazine's editorial director. "The amenities and services they require are not always what hotels and airlines provide, and travel executives need to pay heed to what the business traveler is saying."


According to the survey, business travelers are generally more loyal to airlines than hotels. Nearly 75 percent said they would fly a preferred airline even if the flight wasn't as convenient, compared to 45 percent who said they would ditch more convenience for a particular hotel brand.


On the other hand, airlines and hotels both saw a drop in this category from 2012 (80 percent and 58 percent, respectively), so they need to make sure they keep passengers happy or this trend could continue. 


And, unsurprisingly, the availability of Wi-Fi (or lack thereof) continues to impact loyalty. One quarter of those surveyed said the availability of Wi-Fi impacts their choice of airline and flight, while 73 percent said they seek out Wi-Fi when selecting a hotel. This is steady with last year's numbers.

The survey was conducted during the last quarter of 2013 in association with FlyerTalk and polled 1,323 frequent business travelers. You can find it online here. (Travel Pulse, Dec. 18).


Travel and Tourism Spending Decelerated in the Third Quarter of 2013
Real spending on travel and tourism decelerated in the third quarter of 2013, increasing at an annual rate of 2.5 percent after increasing 3.5 percent (revised) in the second quarter of 2013. By comparison, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) accelerated, increasing 3.6 percent (second estimate) in the third quarter after increasing 2.5 percent in the second quarter.

The leading contributors to the deceleration in the third quarter were "passenger air transportation," and "all other transportation-related commodities." "Passenger air transportation" decelerated, increasing 6.2 percent in the third quarter after increasing 14.8 percent; growth in both domestic and international passenger air transportation slowed.  "All other transportation-related commodities" decelerated in the third quarter, increasing 1.5 percent after increasing 3.7 percent, primarily reflecting slowdowns in travel arrangement and reservation services and in automotive rental and leasing.

Overall growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services turned up in the third quarter of 2013, increasing 3.4 percent following a 3.3 percent (revised) decrease in the second quarter. The third quarter upturn in prices was concentrated in "transportation," primarily reflecting an upturn in the price for gasoline.

Employment in the travel and tourism industries decelerated, increasing 1.3 percent in the third quarter of 2013 after increasing 2.8 percent (revised) in the second quarter.  By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter after increasing 1.7 percent in the second quarter. Read full report here.  
(Travel Smart, Jan. 3).  

Media Update
Media coverage for December 2013:
If you would like a copy of any of these stories, please contact Wendy Bridges (928) 777-1204.

Lodging Performance
Data from City of Prescott




Data from Smith Travel Research


Don Prince
Prescott Office of Tourism

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