Dear TPID Participants:
It’s great to see travel picking up, bringing us closer to full recovery from the pandemic. Thanks to the partnership Visit San Antonio has with the City, San Antonio International Airport, greater:SATX, and others; collaborative talks have already begun to service more direct flights in and out of San Antonio, including international.
During the holidays, many families and travelers made it back to San Antonio to attend our festive events and celebrations that you can only find in the Alamo City. According to our data, FY23 Occupancy was at 60.1% through Q1, slightly up at 0.6% compared to the same period in FY22 Q1 (59.7%). FY23 ADR showed a strong gain, totaling $125.62 through Q1, a hike of 10.6% compared to the same period in FY22 Q1. Lastly, FY23 RevPar was at $75.65 through Q1, a leap of 11.5% compared to the same period in FY22 Q1.
My family and I visited India over the holidays, which was perfect timing because my 15-year-old had just finished studying about India in school. We visited UNESCO World Heritage sites, ancient castles, and mosques and marveled over the stories told. It made me think about our history in San Antonio and how important it is for us to showcase it.
When you travel to other places and take in their history and culture, you begin to understand that every story and every pillar or stone used in architecture has a purpose. That’s the beauty of history and the beauty of our city. We must work together to tell our story and let the world know about the history and culture of San Antonio.
Many in the tourism and hospitality industry are concerned about reports of a possible 2023 recession. Interest rates have increased, and inflation continues to drive up costs. This sometimes pushes some people to refrain from spending and hold off on planning trips and vacations. However, the Travel Price Index with U.S. Travel Association shows a 4.5% decline in the price of travel in the latter months of 2022 (October – December). This is promising, especially for San Antonio, which saw higher visitation numbers in 2022 than other leading destinations in the state. I remain optimistic about our local industry and reflect on what we accomplished in 2022. To that end, our resiliency will prevail if a recession occurs.
Looking into the future, a busy quarter is ahead of us, with Spring Break and Fiesta not far away. It’s important we keep moving forward, adding those extra layers of unique San Antonio-style hospitality and charm to all who visit us. Don’t forget to utilize the Individual Hotel Incentive Program when hosting a meeting or group. It allows up to $75,000 in incentives that YOU can give back. It’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.
TPID Board of Directors
Administration & Finance
FY2022 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 FY2022, assessments were budgeted at $7.3 million but closed the year at $9.9 million 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.
FY2023 Service Plan
In December 2022, the San Antonio City Council approved the FY2023 Service Plan, which was previously approved by the Tourism Public Improvement District Board. The 2023 Service Plan projects an estimated $10.25 million in estimated revenue assessments for the District in FY2023 and outlines a corresponding service plan for sales & marketing efforts to align with that projection for FY2023. 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 FY2023.
SATPID FY2023 – Service Plan/Budget (Oct 1, 2022 – Sep 30, 2023)
|Research and Administration||3%||$308K|
|Contingency Marketing/Sales Funds||2%||$205K|
Below is YTD industry data received from Smith Travel Research (STR) specific to December 2022 vs December 2021, as well as calendar year to date information (Jan-Dec 2022 vs Jan-Dec 2021) for primary comp cities plus Top 25 and Total United States. The industry continued to show positive signs of recovery through the close-out of calendar 2022. Additionally, VSA and SATPIDC will continue to monitor industry performance as we progress through the spring and summer months of calendar year 2023.
Industry Data — Comp Cities Summary
December 2022 vs December 2021
|New Orleans, LA||57.2||-3.2||185.43||12.7||106.02||9.1||13.7||4.2||0.9|
|San Diego, CA||60.0||0.2||171.96||11.2||103.11||11.5||11.7||0.2||0.4|
CYTD (Jan 2022–Dec 2022) vs CYTD (Jan 2021–Dec 2021)
|New Orleans, LA||61.4||17.7||177.75||35.7||109.12||59.7||61.8||1.3||19.3|
|San Diego, CA||72.6||17.7||203.50||23.3||147.75||45.2||45.5||0.2||18.0|
After completing a very successful FY2022, the momentum has been carried into our FY2023 1st Quarter. Our event lead volume continues to stay strong, having received 778 event inquiries for Visit San Antonio in this first quarter. By the end of December, our convention team had confirmed 183 events, all of which have an economic impact of over $141 million. Visit San Antonio also saw an increase in corporate events that chose San Antonio for their conventions. 46.5% of the events booked in Q1 FY2023 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 to continue to recover from the pandemic. Along with this great convention production, our team was very busy attending the following customer and industry events:
- IMEX America: October 11-13, 2022
- ASAE 5-Star Weekend: October 13-16, 2022
- Tasting Texas Wine & Food Festival FAM: October 27-30, 2022
- HPN Partner Conference: November 14-17, 2022
- ConferenceDirect’s CD Forum: November 29-December 2, 2022
- Association Forum’s Holiday Showcase: December 1, 2022
- Tamale Lifts & Tamaladas: December 6-9, 2022, & December 13-15, 2022
- IAEE Expo! Expo!: December 13-15, 2022
- CVB Reps of DC Holiday Luncheon: December 14, 2022
- TSAE Celebration Luncheon: December 15, 2022
As mentioned, the 1st quarter of FY2023 showed very strong convention sales production, with the Destination Sales Team’s lead generation and booking efforts once again exceeding pre-pandemic levels. The team booked 183 events for the quarter, resulting in the following metrics, year to date (through December):
- 183 Events (138% to FYTD Goal)
- 171 Short-Term Events [through 2024] (159% to FYTD Goal)
- 778 Leads (124% to FYTD Goal)
- 26 Corporate Citywide Leads (139% to FYTD Goal)
- 14 Citywide Events (112% to FYTD Goal)
- 175,216 Groom Rooms Booked (120% to FYTD Goal)
Visit San Antonio’s short-term focus and execution continues to impact the immediate future, with 50% of all events booked (91 Events) meeting in San Antonio for the first time, and 93% of these bookings (171 Events) arriving by the end 2024! In addition, we were able to confirm fourteen (14) citywide bookings totaling over $88.8M in economic impact for San Antonio during the 1st Quarter. Even with all this recent activity, the Destination Sales Team’s funnel remains robust with fifty-three (53) Convention Center tentative opportunities with an estimated 293K total group room nights / 309K attendees.
This strong production is the result of the efforts of the Visit San Antonio team, our hotel partners, and the continued support by the SATPID Board of Directors, which continue to ensure our destination has the necessary resources to capture convention business. In December, we completed our latest short term meetings incentive, the “Real & True” Meetings Incentive Group Promotion. This promotion, as with the earlier iterations, offered a room night rebate, a convention center discount, and an additional rebate to our strategic third-party partners (HelmsBriscoe, ConferenceDirect, HPN Global, and Maritz Global Events). The results of this latest promotion were as follows:
- 38 Events Booked
- 98,829 Room Nights
- $76.3 Million in Economic Impact
To qualify for these incentives, 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.
In closing, I would be remised if not to remind everyone 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 your qualifying applications. You can 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 1:46 in overall traveler city expenditures (fiscal year-to-date).
Though our FY23 goal of 55 million OLE is mighty, Visit San Antonio is off to a great start in reaching this goal with an incredible Q1. October, November, and December landed us at 16.1M OLE – a whopping 30% of our total OLE goal!
The Visit San Antonio leisure website had a great Q1 and saw almost 1.9 million pageviews and almost 860,000 new users. Homepage subjects leaned heavily on promoting San Antonio as a holiday destination and were supported with blogs, deals, and events. We continue to work on enhancing and improving the user experience on our website as well as building fresh new content that appeals to our visitors. We have also amped up our blog presence and are posting new blogs weekly.
You may have noticed that Visit San Antonio and the River Walk’s social media channels truly came alive this quarter – that is thanks to the addition of our brand-new Social Media manager, Rossi Ramirez! Rossi has been boots on the ground for some the city’s most iconic autumn and holiday events since joining us this fall and her efforts have proven to be successful. One of her first wins was the launch Visit San Antonio’s first-ever TikTok account which currently has over 7,000 followers in just 3 months. Compared to FY22 Q1, our engagements have increased 30% and our audience across Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook have increased by 187% – and she’s just getting started!
Thanks to San Antonio’s unique and diverse culinary offerings, Visit San Antonio and Culinaria San Antonio were able to join efforts and connect with the iconic James Beard Foundation to create the first-ever statewide culinary festival of its kind – the Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival. With an A-list roster of culinary heavyweights, participants were able to attend special events with local chefs in addition to the collective festival event festivities. This “festival with a purpose” (proceeds from Tasting Texas benefit the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship programs, which in turn, provide opportunities for up-and-coming culinary talent) was a tremendous success and we look forward to continuing with this annual festival for years to come.
San Antonio prides itself on being home to one of the largest Día de Muertos celebrations in the United States and this year the celebrations were back in full swing. Not only did we have the pleasure of promoting so many of the moving celebrations throughout the city – but the SpiritLandia River Parade featuring Mario Lopez streamed nationally on Peacock and featured ads from Visit San Antonio! SpiritLandia was not the only event in the spotlight. Día de los Muertos at Hemisfair also took place all weekend long and was broadcast locally on KSAT12 and streamed on KSAT.com. Additional paid efforts to elevate Día de Muertos promotions included video, social, display, and OOH promotions.
There was much to see and do throughout the holidays in San Antonio. In addition to a successful Ford Holiday River Parade, River Walk holiday lights, and Caroling on the River Walk, the team worked to promote holiday events all season long with several blog posts alerting visitors to fantastic holiday events as well as real estate in monthly newsletters offering ideas on how to spend the holidays in San Antonio. We enhanced our holiday messaging with Winter Creative that targeted each of our personas and was included on social and digital efforts. The outcome of this was two spots – one targeting our Family Value and High-End Families and one targeting Cultured Couples and Unique Experience Seekers adults. Additionally paid efforts for holiday promotions included video, social, display, and OOH promotions.
Throughout the holiday season, the Marketing and Membership teams collaborated on holiday efforts to create holiday deal pages featuring offers from 50 different Visit San Antonio members. Holiday deals were categorized by restaurants and attractions and hotel offers with paid social media efforts promoting these offers. Additionally, blogs and organic social media posts directing traffic to these pages pulsed out throughout the season resulting in over 35,000 visits to these pages.
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