June 26, 2020
Happy Friday, Industry Partners!
Here are some highlights from the latest COVID-19 research:
- Four in ten Americans are still feeling uncertain about traveling.
- 63% of visitors are looking for enhanced cleaning protocols when they do decide to take a trip. 43% of travelers considering activities, attractions or tours stated a clear, thorough cleaning and hygiene plan is by far the most important factor.
- While travel continues to increase nationwide, consumer sentiment regarding the virus worsened this past week. 50.6% of travelers now expect the coronavirus situation to get worse in our country versus 47.7% the previous week.
- The percentage of Americans who cancelled trips dropped significantly from 44% last week to just 37% this week.
- Booking demand for a South Dakota trip increased 60% week-over-week. South Dakota remains in the Top 10 most improved states year-over-year. Since the lowest point of demand the week of April 5, bookings have increased 430%.
- Since the lowest point of demand the week of April 5, searches for South Dakota have increased 226%. South Dakota remains in the Top 10 most improved states in terms of search demand and is the third most improved for the week ending June 14.
- Core markets for South Dakota continue to show increased engagement week-over-week: Minneapolis +54%, Chicago +44%, Kansas City +168%, Denver +102% and Milwaukee +46%.
Thank you to our research partners for providing this information: Tourism Economics, Destination Analysts, STR, U.S. Travel Association, Arrivalist, Miles Partnership, MMGY Travel Intelligence, ADARA, and Longwoods International.
We JUST received word this morning that state and local governments may now use Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars for travel promotion! GREAT NEWS! Here is what the U.S. Travel Association shared:
Good news! State and local governments may use the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for travel promotion:
The U.S. Department of Treasury issued new FAQs this week for the CRF, which clarifies that state and local governments may provide CRF funds to destination marketing organizations to re-market convention facilities and the tourism industry. The new FAQ was issued in response to a U.S. Travel letter submitted to U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin seeking clarity on the CRF and asking for guidance on the use of these funds for DMOs.
- CRF funds are granted to state and local governments, who in turn can allocate these funds to respond to fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, including providing funds to DMOs.
- According to the FAQ, "expenses incurred to publicize the resumption of activities and steps taken to ensure a safe experience may be needed due to the public health emergency."
Also, the U.S. Travel Association has put together a toolkit for the travel industry that we can utilize to help inspire confidence in travelers that they will see consistent health and safety measures during their trips. Here is what they shared:
On Monday, U.S. Travel released #TravelConfidently, a shared responsibility toolkit, broadly throughout the travel industry. These resources can be used to inspire confidence in travelers that they will see consistent health and safety measures throughout their entire journey and remind travelers and residents that they, too, have a role to play when it comes to ensuring a healthy and safe travel experience for all. We encourage you to incorporate these resources in your own communications and share them with your members and audiences.
We wish you all a wonderful weekend. Stay well! THANKS for all you are doing!
All our best,
Jim & Team
Secretary of Tourism