Dear TPID Participants:
After so many months of challenging news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our industry, it’s a welcome change to come to you with positives. We’ve enjoyed a notable upswing in hotel occupancy this spring, part of several trends that show that San Antonio may be on the road to recovery.
Additionally, Visit San Antonio has landed its new President and CEO. Marc Anderson, most recently the Chief Operating Officer for Choose Chicago, will bring nearly three decades of experience to San Antonio when he assumes the top post June 1.
Anderson has extensive experience in several key areas of our industry, and is expected to be a strong leader as tourism and hospitality spearheads the revitalization of our economy.
For some time, experts have projected that travelers, eager to emerge from self-quarantines and stay-at-home mandates, would venture out as soon as circumstances allowed, eager for human interaction and exploration. San Antonio, a generational and familiar destination, has been ready to accommodate those visitors. In March, our hotel occupancy soared to 64.9 percent citywide, a 60.5 percent increase from the same month in 2020.
That occupancy rate placed us ahead of the majority of our competitors during the same month, including Atlanta (59.4 percent), Dallas (61.2), Denver (50.1), Houston (59.9), New Orleans (47.5) and Orlando (57.8). You’ll find more extensive comparisons in the attached report, along with closer examinations of our budget, assessment projections and sales and marketing programming.
Beginning Memorial Day Weekend, Visit San Antonio will be rolling out its new promotional effort, “Si San Antonio.” With the critical summer period in mind, the outreach will focus on regional-market travelers who will receive a special rate by staying at select hotels, along with a card that will provide a wide range of discounts at attractions, restaurant and museums across the destination. The campaign runs through the entire summer.
Your San Antonio TPID board is closely monitoring the evolution of our industry as we continue to emerge from a dark period. There remains work to be done, and total recovery is still on the distant horizon, but we will continue to be in your corner and working to complement your efforts.
I hope you’ll review this content and pass along any thoughts or questions to me or the Visit San Antonio staff.
TPID Board of Directors
Administration & Finance
FY 2021 Service Plan
The San Antonio Tourism Public Improvement District Board adopted revenue budget for FY 2021 is $5.48 mil. Through the 1st 6 months of the year, assessment projections are on pace with budget. The Service Plan outlines the major budget parameters of the sales and marketing programming planned for FY 2021. The SATPIDC will continue to closely monitor the progress of the industry’s recovery and assessment revenue in order to maximize the planned sales & marketing opportunities.
SATPID FY 2021 – Service Plan/Budget (Oct 01, 2020 – Sept 30, 2021)
|Research and Administration||3%||$164K|
|Contingency Marketing/Sales Funds||2%||$110K|
|TOTAL||100%||$ 5.48 mil|
Below is YTD industry data received from Smith Travel Research (STR) specific to March 2021 vs March 2020, as well as calendar year to date information (Jan-Mar 2021 vs Jan-Mar 2020). The good news is that in general much of the industry showed positive signs of recovery in March 2021. San Antonio actually was one of the stronger performing destinations when compared to other Texas and National Comp set destinations.
Industry Data — Comp Cities Summary
March 2021 over March 2020
|New Orleans, LA||47.5||23.5||-26.9||-9.7||-12.8||-3.5||19.2||308||40,756|
|San Diego, CA||54.3||32.7||-11.3||17.7||15.6||-1.8||30.3||504||63,217|
Calendar-Year-to-Date (January 2021 – March 2021)
|New Orleans, LA||37.0||-37.2||-39.6||-62.1||-63.5||-3.6||-39.5||308||40,756|
|San Diego, CA||44.1||-29.4||-26.0||-47.8||-49.0||-2.4||-31.1||504||63,217|
As we begin to make the turn out of the pandemic, Visit San Antonio’s Destination Sales & Experience Teams continue to be focused on the following key priorities: Customer Engagement, Retainment & Business Development, with SATPID funding bolstering these efforts. With the recent decreases in COVID-19 cases both locally and nationally, our team can now begin to ramp up our short and long term business development strategies and tactics, ensuring SATPID will be a proactive resource for our destination’s economic recovery. In March, the Destination Sales Team targeted 319 accounts with a booking cycle within the calendar year for a total of 800 client interactions, resulting in several short term, in-house leads. Since January, Destination Experience has lead seven, virtual client engagement events with eight more planned through the end of June. These are only a few of the tactics supported by SATPID funding. For fiscal year 2021, the SATPID Board of Directors approved a forecasted $2.2M of funding for Sales & Experience initiatives focused on the following recovery efforts: Individual Hotel Incentive Program, Short Term Hosting Obligations, Group Business Development Program, Virtual Customer Events, New Tradeshow Booth Development and Attendance at Major Industry Tradeshows & Events.
Though the recovery has just begun, we are happy to report that we are starting to see much needed gains in lead volume and events production. Though still down to 2019 (-19% and -43.3% March STLY, respectively), both currently outpace the last six months and national landscape. In addition, within the last six weeks, we have not experienced any large citywide cancellations for 2021 and beyond, yet another promising sign towards our industry’s recovery. The Individual Hotel Incentive Program continues to be a critical resource for capturing the limited groups business opportunities currently available with $1M of uncommitted available funds. 2021 YTD, this program has generated a total of 24 applications, driving an estimated 19.7K group room nights/$3.3M in group room revenue, while delivering a solid 15 to 1 ROI in Group Rooms Revenue. With funding still available, please continue to submit applications for up to $50K per participating SATPID property. SATPID Hosting Obligations through the first half of fiscal year 2021, has afforded our destination the opportunity to bid on eleven opportunities totaling 61.3K GRNs, heavily impacting 2021 through 2023.
SATPID Q1 Marketing Update
- For the first quarter of 2021, every TPID dollar spent in digital advertising produced a ROI of 1:32 in overall traveler city expenditures.
- We kicked off the first quarter of 2021 with a 90-second video feature for the Valero Alamo Bowl Halftime. In case you missed it, you can view it here!
- Visit San Antonio has added another video in their series on cultural champions. This video features musicians Augie Meyers and Emilio Navaira, IV, along with moderator Henry Brun, discussing the diverse music scene in San Antonio. Watch the video here.
- The marketing team is busy preparing for a great summer with Si San Antonio. Building on last year’s Si San Antonio campaign, the Marketing team will deliver a simplified Si San Antonio promotion allowing visitors to take advantage of discounts when staying at local hotels and enhance their time and experiences in San Antonio. This promotion will kick-off on May 24 and run on digital and social.
- In addition to the Si San Antonio promotion, the marketing team is working on brand awareness ads utilizing the same Si San Antonio tagline will run on TV/Cable, radio, digital outdoor, digital, and social channels. These ads will feature aspirational messaging with accompanying images of well-known attractions as well as lesser-known gems. We can feel the momentum building for what is sure to be a great summer and we look forward to it.
- The San Antonio River Walk was recently ranked in the 2021 Top 5 of USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award for Best Riverwalk.
2020/2021 Visit San Antonio Visitor’s Guide
The 2021 San Antonio Official Visitor’s Guide is near completion with a launch date of the first week in June. This year’s guide will be in digital form only. This is a great opportunity for Visit San Antonio to create a more interactive guide that incorporates rich media, including video and interactive elements, and allows advertisers the ability to place dynamic, time-relevant ad buys.
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