Dear TPID Participants:
It continues to be a tough path for the tourism and hospitality industry, in the face of a challenge unlike anything we’ve confronted before. As we come to the close of what is usually a busy summer travel season, we instead are celebrating the small victories that reflect our gradual climb toward recovery.
To be sure, there are some positive signs. Our hotels, restaurants and attractions have reported upticks in some business, including guests who have come to San Antonio from other locales. While not the numbers to which we’ve become accustomed, the trends have been encouraging nonetheless.
With that in mind, Visit San Antonio is preparing to re-engage in actively advertising to potential traveler audiences. We’ll be aligning our message with the U.S. Travel Association, which will be launching a national campaign called, “Let’s Go There,” in early September. The message will invite travelers to make their plans to head out now or, if they’re not quite ready yet, to book now and travel later as an option.
By design, the campaign is designed to build consumer confidence even as it is sensitive to travelers’ concerns. We hope this will contribute to preparation for a successful travel season in the spring and summer of next year.
Our TPID board looks forward with you, and please know our good thoughts are with those of you affected by this pandemic. As a board, we continue to meet and work on a path for the future, positioning our industry as a spearhead for the pending rebound.
This quarterly newsletter provides an update on where we stand, including the status of our marketing, budgetary and sales strategies moving forward.
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
With the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases, it was necessary to amend the FY 2020 year-end revenue budget for the San Antonio Tourism Public Improvement District (SATPID) to $6.3 million by the end of the fiscal year. This represents more than a 40% decline from the original FY 2020 adopted budget of $10.9 million. It should be noted that some TPID sales and marketing programming have been postponed for a few months during this period as consumers travel patterns have also slowed through this period. These funds will be available to assist with recovery efforts in the coming months and into next fiscal year. The below Service Plan outlines the current major service categories for programming allocated from these funds for 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 make both budgetary and planning adjustments to ensure investments are in alignment with the approved Service Categories.
Below is YTD industry data for Calendar Year 2020 (January to July) over the same period from the prior year. VSA and SATPIDC 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 – July 2020)
Visit San Antonio’s Destination Sales & Experience Teams have been focused on the following key priorities since the start of the pandemic: Customer Engagement, Retainment & Business Development, with SATPID funding bolstering our efforts. Although the appropriate timing and messaging has been a moving target with the most recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the SATPID Board of Directors have made the necessary preparations to ensure the SATPID is a proactive resource for our industry’s recovery. For the remainder of fiscal year 2020, we are estimating $2.5M of funding for Sales & Experience initiatives focused on the approved business 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. For FY 2021, the estimated $2.2M Sales & Experience budget will be continue to be utilized to announce that San Antonio is in fact safe and open for business as we continue to work towards “Bringing the World to San Antonio.”
The Individual Hotel Incentive Program continues to be a critical resource 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. For 2020 year to date, this program has generated a total of 66 applications, driving an estimated 36.6K group room nights/$6.25M in group room revenue, while delivering a strong 11 to 1 ROI. An additional $480K has been allotted for FY 2021 to strengthen this competitive advantage, so please continue to submit applications for up to $50K per participating SATPID property. In addition, the allotted $950K of funding for Hosting Obligations has afforded our destination the opportunity to bid on thirteen opportunities totaling 43.2K GRNs.
SATPID Q3 Marketing Update
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in mid-March Visit San Antonio, with the consensus of the TPID Board and the Visit San Antonio Marketing Advisory Committee, decided to pause all paid marketing. Since that time, we have continued with a “soft” presence in the market through Visit San Antonio’s website and owned social channels.
As COVID-19 continued to have an enormous impact on our industry through Q3, the marketing team pivoted out of all previously planned strategies and focused marketing efforts on our recovery campaign, Sí San Antonio. Sí San Antonio wraps up on September the 7th and soon we will have a Townhall meeting with participating partners to understand future steps with this promotional effort, Stay tuned for further announcements.
Marketing Recovery Plan
Visit San Antonio marketing team is working on a partnership with the U.S. Travel Association to align into a common message to invite potential travelers to make plans to travel. Whether they travel now or later, regaining consumer confidence to travel is critical towards a faster travel recovery. More details and dates for launch to come in the fall.
2020/2021 Visit San Antonio Visitor’s Guide
Our traditional Visitor’s Guide is out! See the link that follows to request yours or download the electronic version. Enjoy and make plans to visit all of what San Antonio has to offer.
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