Dear TPID Participants:
I am pleased to present to you the first quarterly report of Visit San Antonio’s FY 2023. Looking back, Visit San Antonio closed out an impressive FY 2022 ahead of goals and forecasts as San Antonio’s Tourism and Hospitality continue toward full recovery. The team saw the challenge as an opportunity to be the model of travel and tourism in the state, and they succeeded.
RevPAR continues to be strong through September, with an 18.6% increase from last year during the same period. The same positive momentum goes for occupancy, with a 7.5% increase. These numbers reflect the impressive return on Visit San Antonio’s storytelling branding campaign, Real & True. It also proves the significance of storytelling in the travel and leisure industry, which is a distinct characteristic of the Alamo City.
Planners will continue to consider San Antonio for their events and conventions as we continue to offer incentives through the TPID Incentive Program. More of you participated in 2022, bringing in a total of 219 meeting groups. The incentive program offers more than assistance to meeting groups. It presents an opportunity to form new or extended relationships with groups, securing future and new business. Let’s use 2022 as a benchmark and incorporate more TPID Incentive Program usage in 2023 for our respective properties.
As we move ahead in the new fiscal year, perseverance will keep us striving beyond the past and into the future. As one of the main economic contributors to the city of San Antonio, we have a responsibility to take care of our city and our people. Let us always hold that sentiment in the forefront.
TPID Board of Directors
Administration & Finance
FY 2021 Service Plan Assessments
District Assessments are collected by properties and remitted to the City of San Antonio utilizing the same reporting process as Hotel Occupancy Tax. For FY 2021, assessments were budgeted at $5.48 mil but closed the year at $6.39 mil by year-end. The increased assessments will be applied to the same service plan categories originally adopted with more than 90% dedicated to sales and marketing programs. This growth helps to demonstrate some of San Antonio’s strong leisure demand influenced in large part by TPID advertising and marketing activities.
FY 2022 Service Plan
In December 2021, the San Antonio City Council approved the FY 2022 Service Plan, which was previously approved by the Tourism Public Improvement District Board. The 2022 Service Plan projects an estimated $7.3 million in estimated revenue assessments for the District in FY 2022 and outlines a corresponding service plan for sales & marketing efforts to align with that projection for FY 2022. Visit San Antonio will work with the SATPID board to execute various strategies to best leverage these resources to help drive additional demand for the destination and properties within the District. The below referenced Service Plan below outlines the major budget parameters of the sales and marketing programming expected in FY 2022.
SATPID FY 2022 – Service Plan/Budget (Oct 1, 2021 – Sep 30, 2022)
|Research and Administration||3%||$219K|
|Contingency Marketing/Sales Funds||2%||$146K|
|TOTAL||100%||$ 7.30 mil|
Below is YTD industry data received from Smith Travel Research (STR) specific to September 2022 vs September 2021, as well as calendar year to date information (Jan-Sep 2022 vs Jan-Sep 2021) for primary comp cities plus Top 25 and Total United States. While there is still much more work ahead, much of the industry continues to show positive signs of recovery through September 2022. Additionally, VSA and SATPIDC will continue to monitor industry performance as we progress through the fall and winter months of calendar year 2022.
Industry Data — Comp Cities Summary
September 2022 vs September 2021
|New Orleans, LA||55.2||-15.3||161.16||4.5||89.00||-11.5||-7.6||4.3||-11.6|
|San Diego, CA||77.8||16.4||231.94||19.0||166.41||38.6||38.6||0.0||16.4|
CYTD (Jan 2022–Sep 2022) vs CYTD (Jan 2021–Sep 2021)
|New Orleans, LA||60.8||24.0||175.05||50.3||106.44||86.5||87.3||0.5||24.6|
|San Diego, CA||74.4||22.0||207.24||25.7||154.18||53.4||53.8||0.3||22.3|
FY 2022 proved to be a very positive convention year. We hosted many successful conventions throughout the year, as well as were successful in securing future year meetings for San Antonio. The uncertainty present at the beginning of the year, due to the remnants of the pandemic, gave us some caution early on as to how our event markets would perform. We were unsure of how our upcoming meetings were going to fare from an attendance standpoint, as well as unsure of how our meeting planners were going to plan for their future events. In both cases, San Antonio saw great achievements, exceeding all our goals for both Destination Sales and Experience.
For the fourth quarter, our event lead volume continued to stay strong. We received 2,746 event inquiries for Visit San Antonio in FY 2022, a record amount that surpasses all pre-pandemic levels. By the end of September, our convention team had confirmed 508 events, all of which have an economic impact of over $370 million. Visit San Antonio also saw an increase in corporate events that chose San Antonio for their conventions. 41% of the events booked in FY 2022 were corporate programs, which is a significant increase from years past. These corporate groups tend to book short term and have a higher per person spend, all helping our hotel community recover faster from the pandemic:
- 508 Events (167% to FY Goal)
- 295 ITYFTY Events (225% to FY Goal)
- 2,746 Leads (171% to FY Goal)
- 67 Corporate Citywide Leads (372% to FY Goal)
- 535K Groom Rooms Booked (117% to FY Goal)
While this year was a year of rebuilding for our clients, we saw strong rebound in attendance for many groups, of which several broke attendance records for their annual meetings. As we continue to navigate a post-pandemic world with our customers, we have increased communication and enhanced support services to meet and exceed market demands. The Destination Experience Team successfully led the conversation regarding rebooking for sixteen groups as well as connected intellectual partners around the city curating a dozen meaningful symbiotic relationships:
- Achieving a near perfect overall Destination Experience survey satisfaction score of a 3.9 out of a possible 4.0, all while providing destination support services to 307 conventions, meetings, and events that convened in San Antonio, which is an 8% increase YOY.
- The Team also executed 89 authentic San Antonio client/group experiences during planning site visits both in-person and virtually. This was 34 more than STLY for a 62% increase YOY!
- All of this and they still found the time to integrate Visit San Antonio’s new Storytellers Marketing Platform into special events by featuring local culinary experts, artisans, musicians, and artists showcasing local brands during in-market and out-of-market client engagement events.
This robust production is the result of the efforts of the Visit San Antonio team, our hotel partners, and the support by the SATPID Board of Directors, which continue to ensure our destination has the necessary resources to ensure we are top of mind with our meeting and event planners. This past spring, the Board approved a reallocation of funding allowing us to re-launch a highly impactful, short term meetings incentive. Building on its success, we announced the “Real & True” Meetings Incentive Group Promotion, with some exciting new components to drive short-term group demand for our destination:
Qualified groups are able to take advantage of these incentives to help offset some of their costs for meeting in San Antonio:
- Between 250-500 total contracted room nights
- $3 per actualized room night
- Between 501-750 total contracted room nights
- $4 per actualized room night
- 751 or greater contracted room nights
- $5 per actualized room night
- For any group contracting the Henry B. González Convention Center (HBGCC) for the dates outlined in this promotion will receive a minimum of a 25% discount on Convention Center rental rates.
- All qualifying groups are eligible for Visit San Antonio’s Fly-In On Us Promotion as well, offering a customized visit to experience San Antonio’s offerings.
A new addition to this group promotion and to drive additional short-term demand amongst Visit San Antonio’s third-party strategic partnerships, we will be offering a $2 per actualized room night* to:
- Maritz Global Events
- HPN Global
*This third-party incentive will be an internal promotion that will not be part of the online marketing efforts associated with the end-user incentive.
To qualify for the incentives, any meetings and events must total 250 or more room nights during specified need-time dates and be booked through a Visit San Antonio sales representative with contracts executed by December 30, 2022. To learn more, please see https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/real-true-meetings-incentive-promotion/.
In closing, please be reminded that SATPID’s Individual Hotel Incentive Program is still in effect and going strong! We continue to receive applications from SATPID participating hotels, utilizing this resource for the first time. With funding still available, please continue to submit applications for up to $75K per participating SATPID property. You can now access your balance in real-time on the Partner Extranet and you will also receive monthly emails with your balance.
Every TPID dollar spent in digital advertising produced a ROI of 39:1 in overall traveler city expenditures (fiscal year-to-date).
Online engagement continues to rise at a strong rate. As of the end of October, we reached 50.4 million in online engagement, +44% current year-to-date projection of our FY22 goal of 35 million.
We continue establishing ourselves as the Culinary Capital of Texas and provided marketing campaign support for with the first Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival flavored by the James Beard Foundation and Culinaria that took place October 27-30. An exclusive culinary event, the Texas Wine + Food Festival was an amazing success. Our culinary scene is exploding exponentially, and this event is part of what we do in telling the stories of San Antonio.
Visit San Antonio secured an agreement with Google Arts and Culture to showcase San Antonio’s vast cultural offerings across the globe. San Antonio is the first Texas city and only one of five in the U.S. to be showcased on this new Google platform.
We are preparing to launch our holiday marketing campaign with ads in both English and Spanish highlighting opportunities to celebrate the holiday season in San Antonio on TV/Cable, streaming radio, digital, and social channels.
Art and Culture Marketing Efforts
Visit San Antonio and the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture continue to make progress on opportunities identified to enhance the Arts and Culture story, including:
- Development of dedicated assets for Arts and Culture under Visit San Antonio’s new Real & True campaign.
- Partnering with the Arts and Culture Department in the development of San Antonio’s spotlight hub in Google Arts & Culture.
- Credit to its initial relationship with Visit San Antonio, Google Arts & Culture has connected and made individual agreements to expand exposure with key Arts and Culture organizations such as SAMA, SAAACAM and others to come.
- Joint effort to bring awareness to San Antonio’s film opportunities during SXSW 2023.
- Visit San Antonio’s Marketing team participation of curated tours of the River Walk Public Art Garden hosted by the Departments of Arts and Culture.
- Joint effort of bringing our destination to life for Global Travel Industry Event IPW2023.
Meetings & Conventions
- We are proud to have launched our newest sales video for assisting our team in booking meetings and conventions! The video highlights San Antonio’s amazing growth, key industry sectors, and awesome meetings infrastructure. It was truly a collaborative project, and we appreciate the participation of several of our partners and key stakeholders. Click here to view the video.
- Media targeting continues to focus on both long-term and short-term bookings, as well as some key geographical markets and vertical/industry markets.
- We will continue to utilize a mix of channels to keep San Antonio top-of-mind as an excellent meeting destination.
- Paid media includes Search Engine Marketing (a top resource for meeting professionals), social media, email, digital advertising (including video) and print advertising (including native content and advertorials). Native content provides the opportunity to highlight and position San Antonio as a city that is innovative and meets the needs of groups and businesses.
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