Unprecedented times. Two words we all seem to use a lot these days. And while the crisis we now face can be described in no other way, our industry and our community’s ability to unite and recover in the face of incredible challenges is not unprecedented. In the past, we have rallied together and come out even stronger on the other side. Though we have a long, tough road ahead of us, I have no doubt the same will be true this time.
Now, more than ever, we must remember that travel is a truly resilient industry. For more than three decades, Experience Scottsdale has worked with our partners to overcome previous hurdles. We are an industry of passionate-minded, hard-working individuals who know how to hunker down, weather the storm, and climb our way back to the top. We will get through this together, and Experience Scottsdale will be here to help in any way we can.
Based on the current situation of this worldwide health crisis, Experience Scottsdale has suspended all marketing, public relations, convention sales and tourism programs. We are working diligently to shift dollars so that we can be ready to activate strong programs when these messages are ready to be heard by the public. In the meantime, we are focused on serving our clients’ needs – from postponing site inspections and familiarization tours to helping clients rebook future travels and group bookings. Taking care of these important relationships will help our community recover faster. We are staying in touch, providing our support, and ensuring our clients know that we are here to help them.
We have begun receiving weekly data from STR, Inc. to best understand the direct impact on the Scottsdale market area. In the first two weeks of March, March 1-14, the Scottsdale-area’s tourism industry saw occupancy decline by 23.3% hitting a low of 54.8% on March 14. During that 14-day time, average daily rate declined 3.9% year-over-year, and revenue per available room declined by 25.9% year-over-year. Total revenue declined 26.6% year-over-year during this two-week period. We anticipate that these numbers will drastically decline through the end of March and into April; possibly longer. We will continue sharing this data every Monday as part of our Tourism Industry Update e-newsletter.
During this time, it is important that government officials hear from our industry. U.S. Travel Association is encouraging travel and tourism businesses to make their voices heard as their lobbyists work to inform policymaking and inspire congressional action to protect the national industry and the broader economy. We have sent communications from Experience Scottsdale on behalf of our industry, but please consider reaching out to your congressional representatives as well. Click here to provide specific examples as to how the decline in travel is affecting your business and employees directly.
If there is support that Experience Scottsdale can provide to your team, please let me or my staff know. We will continue to keep you updated on the health of the industry and our strategies for recovery.
Let us not forget our strength as a community, our passion as an industry, and our resilience as people – no matter how unprecedented these times may be.
President & CEO