Dear TPID Participants:
There is little doubt that the past few weeks have been difficult for the tourism and hospitality industry. The battle to stop the COVID-19 pandemic has meant exercising social distancing and isolation – a damaging one-two punch for the travel sector.
Yet, these measures have been necessary in the face of a disease that has sickened, or proven fatal, for so many of our residents. As a Board, our hearts go out to those affected by this outbreak. This includes so many of you, our hotel partners, who have been forced to make difficult decisions in several areas regarding staffing and operations.
Naturally, that has meant an impact on TPID collections. Please review this quarterly newsletter for an update on where we stand after the opening quarter of 2020, including the status of our marketing and sales strategies moving forward. As a Board, we continue to meet and establish a game plan for the future, positioning our industry as a leader in the economic recovery on the horizon.
That rebound will include the powerful job market related to tourism and hospitality. Before the arrival of the coronavirus, and resulting furloughs and layoffs, more than 140,000 San Antonians were employed in our industry, or one in every seven workers. Our recovery will hinge, in large part, on those employees returning to work.
Our industry will come back strong, and it will be because of all of us working together. Communications like this will play a part. I invite you to review this material and pass along any thoughts or questions to me or the Visit San Antonio staff.
TPID Board of Directors
Administration & Finance
FY 2020 Service Plan
The original San Antonio Tourism Public Improvement District adopted FY 2020 Budget was $10.9 million. With the recent events surrounding COVID-19, the amended year end revenue budget is estimated at approximately $7.5 million as of mid-March 2020. This represents approximately a 32% decline in revenue. The Service Plan outlines the major budget parameters of the sales and marketing programming expected in FY 2020.
SATPID FY 2020 – Service Plan/Budget (Oct 1, 2019 – Sep 30, 2020)
The SATPIDC is closely monitoring the progress of the industry’s recovery and will likely make additional planning and budget adjustments in the coming weeks/months as necessary.
Below is YTD industry data through the 1st quarter of CY 2020 (Jan-Mar). While Jan/Feb were fairly comparable with the prior year, the data begins to be heavily influenced in March by the effects of COVID-19 and are significantly impactful to the 1st quarter. VSA will continue to monitor these trends both locally and nationally and share that information as it becomes available.
Industry Data — Comp Cities Summary
Calendar-Year-to-Date (Jan – March 2020)
Even during these unprecedented times for our industry, the priority of the SATPID as it pertains to sales is to drive groups to hold meetings, conventions and trade shows in San Antonio, while strategically managing and simplifying the sales process for our meeting planners and partners. Of course, this is all predicated upon the appropriate timing, messaging and allowance of the marketplace, which at the direction and support of the SATPID Board of Directors, we are making the necessary preparations to be ready when that time comes. For the remainder of fiscal year 2020, we are estimating $3.4M of funding for Sales initiatives with the vast majority of expenditures going towards a COVID-19 Sales Recovery Plan, with a focus on the following: Individual Hotel Incentive Program, Short-Term Hosting Obligations, Group Business Development Program, In-Market Customer Events, New Tradeshow Booth Development, Attendance at Major Industry Tradeshows & Events and an Aggressive 3rd Party Incentive Offer. The spirit of this approved sales recovery plan is to announce to our group meeting planners and industry partners that San Antonio is in fact open for business as we “Bring the World to San Antonio.”
During these trying times, we understand The Individual Hotel Incentive Program is more critical than ever for capturing the limited groups business opportunities currently available, thus we increased the funding for this effort by an additional $250K, bringing its total to $1M. This program has generated a total of 64 applications, driving an estimated 35K group room nights/$6M in group room revenue for fiscal year 2020 YTD, while delivering a strong 10 to 1 ROI. In addition, the allotted funding for Hosting Obligations has afforded our destination the opportunity to bid on and win a large and well respected industry event; Experient EnVision 2022, which will also result in ancillary room nights for our destination.
SATPID Q2 Marketing Update
The 2020 SATPID marketing plan was on course January, February and early March. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Visit San Antonio, with the consensus of the SATPID Board and the Visit San Antonio Marketing Advisory Committee, made a decision to pause all paid marketing. This action was taken March 13 and continues as we monitor the situation and determine the optimum time to again be in front of the consumer with our destination messaging.
Planning for Recovery
Visit San Antonio Marketing, Communications and Tourism have developed a strategic 30/60/90-day plan for recovery, which outlines actions for April (30 days), May (60 days), and June through end of the fiscal year (Sept.). Current marketing efforts are maintaining a “soft” presence in the market through Visit San Antonio’s website and owned social channels. The message of “When all is right in your world. We are here for you.” is conveyed in this video developed with The Atkins Group. You may also download the video.
To prepare for a re-start of paid marketing efforts, the Marketing team with The Atkins Group is developing messaging and creative for both a local Staycation campaign and a Summer rebound campaign to outer markets. All paid marketing outside of San Antonio will focus on the drive markets of Texas and possibly the touch states. Promotional offers will be an integral part of both the Staycation and Summer campaign efforts to entice consumers to select San Antonio for their long-anticipated getaway.
Although timing of the launch of each campaign will be based on the status of COVID-19, the team is preparing to be ready with creative and messaging by mid-May.
Quick Snapshot of Q2 (January-March 13)
- For the SATPID Domestic campaign there were a total of 66,802,063 impressions, 421,352 clicks, 5,332,707 video views and 1,436,831 social engagements across paid media.
- The click-through rate was .63%, well above the industry benchmark average of .49% across all tactics.
- Overall web visits during this time frame were 1,040,752, which was a 51% increase YoY.
TPID Board of Directors
ABH Hospitality Management
The San Antonio
Hotel & Lodging Association
The Crockett Hotel
Marriott Rivercenter & Riverwalk
Hilton San Antonio Airport
San Antonio Riverwalk
Visit San Antonio
Phoenix Hospitality Group