Tools and Resources to Understand Tourism in Your Community
Hi everyone! Welcome! On behalf of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism or IORT at Utah State University, we welcome you to the fifth of nine sessions on the Red Emerald Resilience Training Program. I am Danya Rumore. I'm the Director of the Wallace Stegner Center's Environmental Dispute Resolution Program which is based at the University of Utah. and I am an IORT partner and will be facilitating today's session. To start us off, we want to highlight that this training series is supported by the Utah Office of Tourism's Destination Development and Partner Relations Team and we will give you a little background about the Red Emerald Resilience Training Series. As many of you know probably all too well, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in serious economic setbacks and challenges for the tourism industry in many destination communities throughout Utah and the Mountain West and across the nation. Many businesses and tourism organizations are still recovering and we're learning how to adapt in this post-pandemic world to address this need.
The Utah Office of Tourism and IORT came together to build this webinar training series with the purpose of helping Utah's tourism industry and local businesses recover from COVID- 19 and become more resilient to future shocks. We consulted with industry leaders and business owners throughout the state via interviews and a survey and we used what we heard via that consultation to inform the creation of this series. The topics and design of the training series reflect what we heard was most important. Our ultimate hope in conducting this training series is that through sharing best
practices, strategies, lessons learned, and success stories, we can help Utah's tourism industry and businesses thrive in an ever-changing world. For the full training series program, you can check out our website. I'm going to put a link to that um, into the chat for everyone. So you should have that there in the chat. This training series is organized into three segments. The first segment focused on communication for resilience, the second segment focuses on resources for resilience, and the third will be on planning for resilience. Today's session is the second in our series on resources for resilience, and will focus on tools and resources to better understand tourism trends and spending patterns in your community. As with all of our sessions, this
session is particularly targeted towards people working in and with the tourism industry. However, we expect that today's content will be relevant for anyone with an interest in this topic. Today, we are joined by three special guests who will be discussing this topic and sharing their wisdom. Denise Jordan, who is a Marketing Analytics and Research Manager for the Utah Office of Tourism. Jennifer Leaver, who is a Senior Research Analyst at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, which is based at the University of Utah. And Jonathan Smithgall, who is Vice President of Digital
Marketing and Media for Love Communications. Each of our speakers brings a unique perspective and extensive experience working with the tourism industry. Our speakers will join us in a moment. For now, I just want to say thank you to them for joining us to share their wisdom. For the audience, a few important things to note about today's webinar. First, this session is being recorded. We will share the session recording along with a webinar summary
via our website after the event. In a moment, we are going to jump into the interactive presentations. Throughout the session, those of you who are here on our live webinar should expect to engage. We really want to hear from you as well as having you hear from our speakers. So, we're going to ask you some questions and we would like for you to respond to those via the chat function of zoom so we can get some feedback from you. We will also take your questions to the speakers, but we will handle that via the Q&A function. So, just to run through the mechanics, and we want to hear from you, so we're going to present you some questions via the chat function. And, we're going to have you put your questions to the panelists in the Q&A function. And you should
see buttons for both of those at the bottom of your zoom screen. So, you can use the Q&A function for your questions to the panelists. Use the chat function to respond to our questions to you. Let's give that a try. And we want to hear a little bit from our audience, so I'm going
to ask everybody to open the chat function and click on the chat button on the bottom of your zoom screen. You should see a chat screen open to the right hand side of your zoom screen. I'm going to ask you to make sure that your chats are going to everyone so the panelists and the all the people on the webinar can see what you're saying. So, make sure you're set up that way in chat. And the first question to you via the chat function I'll give you a little time to respond to this, is just how well do you feel you understand tourism trends and spending patterns in your community? So, take a moment, think about that, when you're ready, type your response into the chat function, and you can hit enter, and just make sure that's going to everyone, so we can all see what people have to say about that question.
I see some responses coming in... Looks like we're already getting kind of a range of different levels of understanding which is what we expected and I think very normal. Hopefully, there's something for everybody in this this webinar today. Seeing some feel they understand it very well. Some understand tourism trends but not spending patterns. Not well at all. And, I'll give just another moment for some of those to come in. For those of you on the webinar I encourage you to look through the chat see what people are saying. ... Maybe about 10 more seconds to get some answers entered into the chat. ...
It's also nice just to see who is here on the webinar. ... Alright. Hopefully, that gave everybody who wanted to respond a chance to put something in the chat. And we'd love to hear from you. It gives the panelist something to respond to. ... Some people just don't know [laughing] how they understand the trends. Totally understandable. Okay, so next question to you all, what is one thing you're hoping to get out of today's webinar? This is a great question to respond to because it can help us make sure to meet your needs to the best of our abilities. So again, take a moment think about that. When you're ready, type your response into chat. Hit enter whenever you're ready to submit that. I'll give you just about 30 seconds to do that. ...
So, while these chat responses are coming in, I'll just encourage our panelists kind of scroll through the chat, see if anything sparked some ideas for you, if something you might want to address during your presentation or during our discussion. ... From the responses that are coming in, seeing a desire for better understanding of tools and resources, get a sense of what's going on here across Utah. I think a lot of what we'll cover is relevant beyond Utah and there will be a bit of a Utah focus. Latest trends. ... Destination Planning Development Management. For anyone interested that topic I encourage
you to join our next session on August 2nd. It's going to talk a lot about those related topics. Okay! Lots of stuff there again. If you have other things you want to enter please do. We're going to start to roll into our presentation. Thank you again for providing some input. To kick off our conversation, um, so what everybody on the call knows what to expect, today's presentation has been jointly prepared by our speakers so they are going to kind of deliberate tag team. They're going to just roll through back to back. So, I'll have Denise Jordan join us in a moment,
and then she'll just roll right into our other speakers. We plan to leave some time for Q&A at the end. So again, just a reminder please use the Q&A function in zoom to submit any questions to the speakers or things you'd love for them to talk about. Things going as planned will have a little time for Q&A at the end of our session. So with that, I'm going to pass it over to our panelists,
and again, Denise, I'm going to have you kick us off while you turn your video on. And I'll let you say a little bit more about yourself to kick off your presentation. ... It looks like we might have a little slide thing going on there. There you are Denise. Great. [Denise] I didn't find my buttons once I shared my screen. So let me just do this in the opposite order.
[Danya] The joys of technology. Okay. Denise, you're on. [Denise] Okay. Thank you so much, Danya. And thank you everyone for joining today. Um, as Danya mentioned, I am the Marketing Analytics and Research Manager for the Office of Tourism. And we have a lot of wonderful partners around the state. And I'm fortunate today, to be joined by two other panelists who are some of those partners, in addition to IORT and the USU group, so thanks everyone. I thought it would help if we started off by framing some of what the Utah Office of Tourism Strategy is and hopefully a lot of you are familiar with the Red Emerald Strategic Plan, it is our north star, and how we're watching um, tourism around the state and and guiding our Office's efforts and how we measure ourselves and those efforts. Uh, so these first three bullets here are imperatives that roll up to that Red Emerald
Strategic Plan. I think a lot of destinations are looking at similar things not necessarily just focusing in on a high level economic impact number or how taxes are contributing to an area, but really understanding what quality visitation looks like. And encouraging visitors to stay longer and engage more deeply in the community, spend more money, participate in more activities, um, things that that bring that quality visitation up.
We're also watching the distribution of visitation whether that's around the state or if we're trying to distribute visitation seasonally, or maybe by day of week, or time of day. But that is another one of our Office imperatives. And then today we're really leaning into community efforts and helping communities understand what resources they might have available to them, but just a reminder that that is an important element of our Red Emerald Strategic Plan. And
um, leaning into community-led visitor readiness, letting the community work to decide what sort of visitor economy they're desiring to have, and our office trying to support that through our Destination Development and Management Team. And then finally, this last bullet is uh, from our Forever Mighty Initiative, which I hope a lot of you are also familiar with. And that is more of our consumer-facing uh, manifestation of our of our Red Emerald Strategic Plan. Um, and helping visitors understand how to interact in the community and and be respectful and responsible um, to the people and the assets when they're visiting. So,
just a general framework. So today I just this is a crazy slide. I wanted to just show this to demonstrate how many different data sources our office is looking at together with our partners to understand what is happening around the state and in different communities. Not all of these are free and available to the public but many of them are. And um, a lot of these data sources didn't exist 10 years ago, and so I think just thanks to technology and thanks to the resources that we have available to us, we are really able to use a lot of information to help guide our efforts and understand how we're doing. So and today we
want to focus on a few elements, talk a little bit about a Resident Sentiment Study that we recently undertook. Show you some of the resources that are available on the travel.utah.gov site. Um, Jennifer, from Kem Gardner, is going to talk about some policy and economic resources and then Jonathan is going to share some other resources from a media perspective and and talk a little bit about some of the items that they offer in some of our public meetings. So, to get started, I wanted to talk to you about the Resident Sentiment Survey that we recently undertook. And so we did a
survey. We took a statewide snapshot of how residents feel about tourism in the state. And then we also broke that down into 14 different areas or communities, some that are more heavily impacted by tourism than others. But, um, this top level metric here, where 59 of uh statewide residents said that the positive effects do outweigh negative effects when you're considering tourism in your community. That's a number that our office is watching and um, measuring as we're as we're looking at that community-led development and also some of our Forever Mighty Initiatives. Now if you look into different communities you would see that that number varies greatly, and so we also want to understand how different communities feel about that number, where you might see 22 percent only saying that the positive outweighs the negative, or or up to 80 percent in some circumstances.
And then just a couple more um, items from that survey, almost 70 percent do agree that natural resource protection and tourism can be compatible. And then back to the community part where 81 percent think that uh, the State Office, the Utah Office of Tourism, should be leaning in and supporting those local efforts within the community. So this is um, some information that I want to point out to everyone that's available for free. It's it's curated, exportable information
that's available on our industry website. If you go to travel.utah.gov, research, and then into these travel metrics, I think you can see my cursor here, but so this is what the data dashboard looks like. And then over here on the right to the second arrow, is all of the sources that you can see. So we are capturing um, occupancy, average daily rate, rev card numbers for hotel lodging, and that's revenue per available room. You can see some of the tourism tax information that we're offering with county TRT, resort community tax, car rental information or car rental tax information, restaurant. We do share international spending and visit information. That's something we only receive once a year and that the 2021 information should be available within the next week or two. So
I encourage you to watch for that. And then we are bringing state park and national park and monument information in with visitor information in there. So you have this all in one place. Airport information and planes and d-plane passengers. Um, and then also on that site in a link below those dashboards you can find um, a report that we have produced every year and I call this kind of the who, what, when, where, why, how report.
It offers a little bit of everything, telling you who is visiting their origin markets. Why they're coming here. What sort of places they're visiting while they're here. Um, what uh, their demographics are. You can also see some of their niche activities that they're participating in and maybe understand a little bit more about what you might expect someone to spend while they're in market um, participating in those different activities. And then a little bit of information too about satisfaction and intent to travel. Um, so back to the public dashboards, I thought it would be a good exercise to just show you a way that I use that information um, and that you could also use that information in your own community.
We did take a recent look at how our winter in southern Utah efforts were affecting visitation and outcomes for tourism's effects. And so this is National Park visitation looking at November through February timelines over time. This, this green and yellow are 2021 and 2022 numbers, and so you can see those winter numbers have been increasing. And then we took a look at what that total share is relative to annual um, fiscal year National Park visitation, and you can see that the share of visitation has increased over time from about 10 percent, almost 15 percent, during those winter months. And then we overlaid the occupancy information that we're also sharing on that site and looked at the different occupancy numbers in some of the gateway counties in those areas. So, you can see this yellow line here looking at occupancy
November through February um, and, and how it's uh, performing uh, over time. And and through our efforts um, with the winter and southern Utah campaign. We also took a look at how the county TRT tax collection, that's the transient room tax collection, in the different counties is trending over time and the winter share of what that looks like annually. And you can see um, it has gone from about 17 up to 23 percent in 2020, which I think was, a function of the pandemic. But still remaining high through 2021 and uh, up to almost 20 percent. So um, you can find all of that on those uh, dashboards that I mentioned. And now I'm going to turn the time over to
Jennifer so you can hear about the Policy Institute and economic perspective from her. [Jennifer] Hi! Thanks, Denise. I appreciate that! So yeah, I'm Jennifer. Many of you know I am the State Tourism Analyst. I work at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, and today I just want to introduce you to the wealth of information that we have on our website, particularly county-specific information, our county profiles. So, this is our our homepage for our website. I put the link up in the left corner. If you pull up the main page you can see economics and public policy, and there will be a drop down list, which basically, has a whole bunch of different options. And so
you would go to travel and tourism, and that's basically where you're going to find everything. And that's what I'm going to show you a little bit about today. So, you open that travel and tourism link, you can see the county tourism dashboard, so go ahead and we're going to start clicking on that. And before I show you the actual dashboard, I wanted to show you the tourism county profiles.
And I want to point out that these are one-page double-sided profiles. The pdf versions for every county are found here. And so I'm just showing you where to find them with this, you click this link. And so the first page of the two-sided document, um, highlights each county's visitor spending and jobs.
And uh, next slide. Um, this is a close-up look at the data that we collect and present. And I just want to mention, a lot of what we do at the Gardner Institute is consolidate data and put it out there in a form that's hopefully easy to understand and hopefully useful. Um, when, when Denise showed that really busy slide with all of our data sources, we use a lot of those sources, take the information in, and then try to put it out there to everyone. So here's a look at, I think this is Grand County, you can see the visitor spending by type of spending. So you can see how it's broken down in each county. Um, auto transportation, food service, groceries, it's going to look different in every county.
And then we also like to point out the share, so the statewide visitor spending what is your county's share of that spending? So kind of get that perspective. Um, which you know these profiles are really good to use as a tool to take to a local, like a county board meeting, if you're trying to justify, you know, some funding for some tourism-related projects, or to show you know, what, how, how significant tourism is in your county. These are, these, these hard copies are great to take and show to county, you know, local county members, um. And then also, we take a look at jobs. We look at direct and indirect, and induced jobs. If anyone wants more information on that
I can talk about that later in the presentation at the end. And then we look at jobs by what types of jobs in each county. So in Grand County, you can see that accommodations, food service, and recreation are the top three sectors for tourism employment. Next slide.
On the back of these profiles, you can see tax revenue and hotel data if your county has enough hotel data or gets a star report. Something not all counties do. So, this is on the second page. We look at select tourism taxes like restaurant tax, county transient room tax, and motor vehicle leasing tax over the past five years to look for trends. We also take a look at different types of tax revenue that's generated, you know, looking all the way down to how much state income tax, how much local property tax, are these businesses generating, these tourism businesses? We also look at shares of local to state, and shares of direct to indirect, and induced. And then, as far as the hotel data goes, we look at a couple years to see that, you know, how does this year look compared to last year? Um, as you can see, 2020 is the most current data we have on these for these profiles. But, you know, just looking at the hotel occupancy from year to year, you can see these trends, these dips, um. One thing that we can see when we look at this is, you know, with the pandemic, we saw that in the rural counties, this red line bounced up much faster than it did in the Wasatch Front and the urban counties. So those
are just ways that we can use, use the data to see what's going on in each county in the state. And then, we look at the average daily room rate as well over the last two years. Okay, next slide. And again, here's just a close-up of the data I was just talking about, so you can see it better.
Okay, so this is ... I want to talk a little about, the actual tourism dashboard. This is all of the data that um, that all of the data that you just saw, but is more in an interactive form. It is in the process of being updated and transferred into Tableau. Right now it's probably not going to work for everybody the way that the format is right now. So we're just in transition, but within the next month, I'm hoping that it will be up to speed. So, Denise, next slide.
What you'll be able to see with this interactive dashboard is you can search by different counties. You can see all the counties and you can see spending. This, I'm going to show you the spending in the dashboard, but there will also be jobs, tax revenue, and, you know, different, different views. So we're just going to look at the spending right here for, for the presentation. You can sort by counties. You can look, you can sort by year and the data will shift and change. And the maps, the county maps, are the heat maps that show um, you know, hopefully those will they're going to hopefully change when you change the year, and the county, you know, when you change the year as well. So, that's kind of our goal. And then if you hover over the counties, you should be able to see the actual spending or the jobs, etc. So, um yeah. So, next slide.
Okay, and so going back to the travel and tourism, and the county tourism dashboard page, we're kind of skipping around a little just because of the flow here and what I thought made sense. There's the pdfs and then there's a statewide tourism report. This is just kind of what it looks like. This comes out once a year. I saw that somebody asked, how often we update the profiles? We usually update the state report every year. Maybe in like October, November, and then the profiles,
usually the goal is by the end of the year, by the end of December, once a year. Just because it takes time to get that information, and to break it out by county. So that's a good question. Next slide. So here's just an example of what you can find in our annual statewide report. It has tons of charts and graphs at the statewide level, and then, next slide. Also at the county level, we always include some county maps that show different trends. This one is I believe the year over change in um, transient room tax revenue, from 2019 to 2020, which um, you can see, Salt Lake did not fare so well. But, you know, if you look at Rich County, these, some of these rural
Utah counties did really well during the pandemic, relative to again, some of the urban counties. So we can look at things like that. Next slide. Okay, and I just wanted to point out some new data that we've been collecting and presenting, is short-term rental data. This is something that's a little bit newer to, to us analysts. And I wanted to point out these couple of maps because we like to show the data in different ways. So this map shows actual annual short-term rental data,
listings by county. And you can see Summit County, Salt Lake, and Washington, have the most, according to our data. And then, the next slide. But then, we take it a step further and we look at okay, so that's how many listings, but how many listings are there relative to actual housing units? To kind of give it some context and suddenly, you can see Grand County pops up and Kane County and Garfield and, and Rich County. So these are some areas where, you know,
a relatively good chunk of the housing units are short-term rentals. And so there may these might be some hot areas to look at as far as housing shortages or affordable housing issues. Okay, and also just wanted to jump back and say again under the travel and tourism, going back to this sort of main page, if you click the travel and tourism, um, you can see a list of all of our publications, and the final thing that i wanted to point out is our blogs. So every six to eight weeks
I will write a tourism-related blog that looks at some of the current issues. So um, I looked at short-term rental market growth last month, and you know, we just look at different things, seasonal employee housing issues, labor shortages. The new one, which will be out in the next week or two, is going to look at sustainable travel. So we try to keep them really up to date and really recent and throw some data in there. And, Denise, last slide. You can see I will incorporate data and into the blogs. So, you know, check those out if you want to, you know, kind of stay current on things. They're a lot of fun to write. And, you know, any, any questions you have, just let me know, and I can hopefully point
you in the right direction. So, okay uh, I am going to turn it over to Jonathan now. [Jonathan] Thank you, Jennifer! Okay, well this is exciting! I get to present the media agency's perspective on this. Again, my name is Jonathan. I've been with Love Communications for over 10 years, working with the Utah Office of Tourism
that entire time. So I'm excited to to walk you through some of the stuff that we cover in our monthly board meetings. Now these monthly board meetings are available to the public and uh, just high level here, we cover campaign reporting travel trends, which I'll get into a little bit and then we also cover custom research that our agency and the state are actively building together. At the end of this, I'll show you some forecasting tools that are available to you as well as some contact information of people you can reach out to, to get that information.
So, to start I wanted to talk about example reporting. Now this is a lot of words on the slide, but what I wanted to kick off was, was pointing out that we are looking at things like how are adrs improving on a year basis but more importantly since adrs are up are they improving on a monthly basis we also look at other camp the campaigns and how how well it's performing in terms of ad effectiveness and then our top performing markets which markets are visiting and how long they're staying for if we go to the next slide we'll actually look at some data that's available available to us where we're able to look at which markets are driving the highest adrs on behalf of our destinations within the state as you can see here this was an example screenshot but it was from our ski campaign where dallas was our top performing market three years ago dallas was not a top 10 market for us adr stands for average daily rate so it's a hotel term for for how much the traveler is spending per night on a hotel room if we go to the next time yeah no problem if we go to the next slide uh well sorry denise one back we also look at the party size so comparing families versus couples versus individuals traveling just to see which ones are driving higher value and you do see that families on average when they've been exposed to our advertising campaigns stay about seven days and also spend the most on hotel rooms per night the last thing i want to talk to you about what's available in the campaign reporting is what destinations within the state are are seeing hotel rooms booked as as a result of some of the ad campaigns that we're running now this is just example data but this changes depending on what campaigns we have live in the time of year that we're running them so i want to get into travel trends because i think this has been you know coming out of the pandemic this has been one of the most valuable things that the state in love has been providing our industry and that is looking at what data is telling us and what to be prepared for so i'm going to run you through these are some of the data sources that we use in compiling this information it is compiled on a monthly basis but jumping into it we look at tsa daily throughput and as you can see here we have reached where we were pre pandemic back in 2019 we're looking at four years of data the red line is 2022. i think the most recent stat was about 9 million people traveled this past weekend on the next slide we're also looking at what the feelings in in optimism are for travelers across the country and what we are seeing right now is that there is this pessimism around uh the fact that we might be heading into a recession uh and what we're seeing and that actually that number is off slightly 62 percent of adults said they feel that the us is already in a period of contraction with another 19 believing that the country is heading toward one now on the next slide what we're already seeing due to inflation is that 36 of travelers have already cancelled their trips now these are numbers that we share on a monthly basis and this is the highest this number has been since the beginning of the year the other thing that is trending at the moment is gasoline prices are spiking and you're seeing on this slide you've got 69 percent of travelers saying that if gas prices don't come home from come down they'll be staying closer to home in their travels so for a destination that might be on this call this then starts to think have you thinking about bringing your travel planning in the markets you're targeting to closer regional drive markets as travelers aren't driving as far as they have in the past we're also seeing which is a new trend it emerged in the pandemic but for our ota partners it continues to show that about 48 of bookings or or searches are for last minute trips usually within the next two weeks so that's a new trend that has has remained for a while some things that utah benefits from we continue to see that people are looking to get out and enjoy nature they're also interested in visiting new places they've never been to before and that is something that i think we can capitalize as a state here to bring travelers in uh want to leave you with some optimism on this we do see that about 89 of americans still have travel plans for the next six months but we are to kind of summarize we are seeing they're just planning to take fewer trips and they're not traveling as far as they would have if we had asked the questions four months ago another thing that we do is looking in at research trends and one of the things that is kind of i don't want to say plaguing but there's a lot of information out there about sustainable travelers in a lot of the way those questions are being asked is in an aided fashion which can create what is called a halo effect basically travelers thinking of of their themselves in their best light and so what we went to do was compare some of this aided research which you'll see in this this next slide is a question that was asked by expedia how often if ever do you look for sustainable options when traveling these good could be to sustain the local environment economy or culture what you'll find is that 90 of consumers are looking for sustainable options when traveling and what you'll find in that previous question was that it was it was set up to the traveler in an aided fashion now i'm not saying that people aren't looking to be sustainable but i don't think it's 90 of travelers are actively doing that so what we did is we ran a custom research project with the state to find out what travelers actually are doing and so you'll see how we kind of changed this and we didn't aid in the sustainable wording into the question imagine you were preparing for an overnight vacation what are some of the things you are taking into consideration at this point in terms of planning your trip what you'll find is out of 1500 people surveyed only four people mentioned ways to find out how to minimize their impact on the environment and only 19 people mentioned checking in on how busy and or crowded the destination would be so what we're finding is that it's somewhere in the middle it's not 90 percent of people it's not less than 0.04 of people but it's somewhere in the middle and there's a lot of work left for us to do
to educate travelers before they arrive in market the next slide i wanted to give you guys access to our sales reps now we we work a lot with these sales reps on behalf of the state and they have uh graciously offered if you're looking for travel trend data please reach out to our sales reps in the state they'll provide you with information similar to what you'll see on this next slide and again this this presentation will be shared after but todd and josh are great contacts todd's with tripadvisor joseph expedia but if you look at this next slide that denise has up this is taken at any point in time of future outward looking bookings compared to where it was the year before and so what you're seeing for the month of july when we had pulled this report 2022 was actually pacing behind 2019. now expedia is able to pull this information for you at a at a county level so so please reach out to our partners they've been amazing to the state and with that i'll uh i'll bring it back so thank you so much all right so with that i'm going to ask all of our panelists to come on have a little conversation i also just want to remind the audience if you have any questions for specific panelists or things you would love for all the panelists to talk about please use the q a function that way we can keep track of that and pitch those questions to our audience denise gonna have you turn your video on if you can it says i can't because the host stopped it can you turn me on i'm trying there we go there we go all right perfect yeah again fun technology it's always something so actually i wanted to start quickly by asking jennifer just a clarification question we got a question via it was in the chat that just asked when are the county profiles updated i wonder if you can answer that yes um they are updated by the usually by the end of december of each year so annually great fantastic so my first kind of opening question for you something that really occurred to me is you've covered a lot of material right there are many different sources of data and things people can pay attention to and i'm curious what your perspectives are and i'd love to hear from all of you and feel free to share different perspectives on this what do you think are a few of the most most important things for people to pay attention to and understand about tourism trends spending patterns in their communities and why and how can different people in the tourism ecosystem so businesses and local communities lots of people in the tourism ecosystem how can those different people use that information anyone willing to take a first step at that question i'll take a shot at it i think um something that the state office is doing and um and working with partners in different communities to do is to really understand the balance of what it looks like from a stakeholder perspective from a resident perspective and also from a visitor perspective and so just really being mindful to try to use the resources and um we did share that resident sentiment information with with our different partners around the state and if you're interested in seeing some of that information and you haven't seen it yet i'm happy to um share that and so i could put my email in the chat um but uh understanding how residents are feeling and then what the what the visitor is is experiencing in your area and also what's important to the stakeholders and i think those things go without saying but i think that just understanding that balance is very important yeah and i just um as far as you know my part here i would just say that it's really i think important to understand that in travel and tourism um there's a lot of economic impact so because i think 80 plus percent of our visitors are from out of state or they're not local to our county or community that creates an economic impact where in a lot of industries you know it's just residents spending money in that industry in the same area where they live which is not considered an economic impact so i think just kind of understanding this you know some of this um benefits of tourism in that way and being able to communicate oh look you know it creates jobs and tax revenue because you know that's outside money creating tax revenue for utah residents so just being able to learn a little bit about economics and i'm always you know willing to help explain things the best i can to communicate that you know can give you a little bit more i think um a little more power and i'd say i'd say to add to what jennifer and denise are saying the great thing about where we are now is a lot of this a lot of where we're at there's data in the past that can help mirror maybe some of the the decisions that we should be making you know when when kovid started we actually looked at the 2008 recession as a proxy for what might happen in travel and and use that to guide some of our decisions in moving forward what we're finding now in some of the travel trends that i shared there that's a about five slides of what is typically a 40 page report that we share at the monthly board meetings we're trying to be future outward thinking at a broad level that we do think works on a community level as well because it does have trends that will will reflect what is likely heading um in our local communities direction excellent thank you all for taking that question i want to ask a few simple questions or more straightforward questions from the audience and then i'm going to dive into another kind of meaty question so just a first question which anybody has information on this i'd love your response there was a question of do you track blm visitation or do we have any information maybe i just say sort of generally with public lands what kind of information we have in addition to what's already been talked about yeah we're we're not tracking blm visitation currently um there's a lot of blm land uh in utah and i know that there are certain areas that do um have boots on the ground people doing some um counting and visitation um analysis uh it's something that that we need to look into a little bit more i think it would be great we we have geolocation information that we're watching and so if there's a certain area that exists on blm land we might wrap up what's called a geofence or a polygon around that particular area and then we're able to see mobile devices um quantities of devices that that might be visiting those places but we don't have all of the blm land wrapped like that although i do want to point out we do give a report for grand staircase from the blm where they do track a cert certain sites and um where they have counters and we do compare that from year to year so we kind of get a gist of what's going on it there i haven't seen anything like that for bears ears um but yeah but denise is right like some of that is just tricky to get so another question about sources of data there was a question about whether strava metro data is used in office of tourism data analysis or just anything about strava data that you all can contribute yeah we have we have not used strava data um at one point a few years ago we talked about whether or not to try to begin to use some of that in some of our analyses and at the time um it was felt that a lot of that data would be coming from residents themselves and not necessarily visitors who turn on their strava when they're when they're visiting that may not be the case actually i mean we should probably look into that but we we haven't played around with any uh strava data in our analyses okay and then question for jennifer in particular although if anyone else wants to add to this please do uh jennifer the question is you showed 2020 short-term rental inventory by county um and the question is where is the gardner center getting this data from and how or institute getting this data from and do you have 2021 numbers right so i am getting this from a company called transparent um in the past we've used air dna so these are just different firms that scrape data off of these short-term rental platforms um and so denise and i have access to that and they do update i believe is it monthly denise so we may have up to maybe every other every other month that's right yeah every other month so maybe we have up to april or may for 2022. so i hope that answers your question great and then i'm going to leverage this next question to lead into mine so there was a question via the q a about what sustainable travel means and i'm just going to kind of talk about what does sustainable travel sustainable tourism mean what does it mean to you all when you talk about it and building on that uh one this is a topic that's come up in a lot of our sessions and i'm curious to hear more from you all about how do you measure sustainability what are we looking for how can we get information on that what is the state and others already doing to try to get information on that just generally that topic of sustainable travel sustainable tourism what does it mean how do we measure it how do we use that information um well jonathan and i just attended a conference uh ttra's conference in victoria and the conference is called regenerative tourism um i think there's a lot of different terminology out there and it's a difficult word to define and um i think it's also a difficult thing to measure uh whether or not you're being successful and um sometimes i hear the words perpetual tourism economy but i think i think for me it means leaving leaving our assets in a way that lets future generations be able to also enjoy them and traveling in a way that's respectful um to the cultures and and to the places and the people in the communities um jonathan jennifer you might have a different way that you think about it no i kind of i think you nailed it on the head it it's a term that is thrown around widely in in the industry and one that is so broadly used uh in in the case of of what we're doing for our ad campaigns sustainable travel reflects getting someone who's going to stay here longer than one night longer than two nights because we know the environmental impact of that one night traveler is it's more cost the hotel more resources are used in that one night than if they stay for three nights so getting the length of stay to increase denise mentioned educating travelers before they arrive in market that's something utah's pioneering we've been dedicating a percentage of our funds to educating travelers before they arrive into our community so that they know how to be a better traveler in market and so to us that's kind of a part of what sustainable travel means on a on a broad basis yeah um i think that i think that's great denise and jonathan because it is super hard to define i think personally i think of it as leaving the place you visit a little bit more improved or better than when you came or the way you found it you know and learning about the local wildlife learning about the local economy trying to shop locally you know just being very mindful when you travel i know that i attended a webinar with some you know individuals that are at the forefront of sustainable travel and you know they're even talking about things about eventually measuring you know water usage by you know hotel water usage or carbon footprints of how each traveler got to the destination and like one day taking it to that next level and having something measurable but you know it's a ways out i think as far as that goes so i'll just add too that the um our office you know our forever mighty initiative launched in 2019 and um with this uh uh resident sentiment analysis we did do some baseline branding understanding and and and what people knew about forever mighty and some of the initiatives within forever mighty and so we feel like anything we can do to try to measure how we're doing is um is a step in the right direction and so we are continuing to follow on those questions um that align with our forever mighty initiatives and we'll be watching those over time um so that'll be interesting to to follow and then um one other thing that we did that i think is really cool and interesting and we followed using some advertising effectiveness research that we do was with our forever mighty initiative being more prevalent we took last spring and summer's campaign and we had an inspirational southern utah campaign running and then for those people who had seen that messaging or who we knew were intending to travel or who had already planned a trip here um jonathan mentioned that we've been serving them ad so um so that they're prepared when they do come and then when we evaluated those campaigns aligned together what we saw was that a lot of the attributes that we're watching for communication and how people recognize this or perceive the state was that that forever mighty layer on top of the of the general campaign layer really boosted um people's perceptions about the state and the communications that were intended in general and so it was really positive and encouraging for us any other thoughts on this and how to measure it how to keep track of it or what we maybe should be paying attention to or what you'd advise communities and others in the tourism industry pay attention to all right everyone said their peace um i do want to note that in the chat there's just a comment that strava metro is apparently now free um so you no longer have to get a license through u-daughter otherwise so just a note to the audience that that could be a source of data even for you all to use if that is the case and then jennifer there was a clarifying follow-up in the q a just about talking about the short-term rental data that the 2020 numbers went up 21 um wondering if the 2021 percentages are different so again if you have information on that totally fine if you don't but that was the clarification oh is that the the housing housing worry for the short-term rental housing um that was a 21 share i believe of housing units so 21 of housing units i believe is what that what um was referring to not necessarily not a year over year change okay perfect i mean i don't know if you know anything about the 2021 or so yeah i mean the percentages i don't know denise do you know anything about the kind of an overall short-term rental yeah i was just trying to look as as we're talking there was um i'm gonna put this article in the chat wonderful there's been a couple recent articles um about short-term rentals and outsized shares in different counties this is 2021 information that i just put in there and so you can find a little bit in there it is something the the data that we get from transparent is um a little bit dirty and so we do you know each time we're using it we have to kind of go through a process and clean and and make sure that that we're looking at it correctly but it is something on our radar that we are interested in paying more and more attention to i did see um nationwide that may over may 2019 short-term rental in the rentals in the u.s are up 26 over over may over may from from 2019 um whereas uh traditional lodging is down two percent now now that's a u.s number and
i don't have that information for you today about what utah specifically looks like um but the gardner policy institute has been really great at looking at some of the inventory information um on our behalf and on others behalf as well around the state and so we're we're trying to be better about using that information and we know it's important to communities and increasingly more so so we're paying attention to it yeah and if you have a specific question to your county for example you know you want to look at the last few months of 2022 versus 2021 or something like that for your county you know i'm you know i'm happy to help with that anytime so i appreciate the generous offers of our panelists to help in different ways and even just sharing the different sources of data that already exist that folks can tap into um i'm gonna ask maybe just one more question from the audience before i start to wrap us up and this question just circles back to the sustainable travel question the question was in regards to sustainable travel is there any focus to reach out to businesses and encourage them to look at their own sustainability less disposable single-use items etc and i'm guessing denise that's a question kind of predominantly to the state yeah well we have a destination development and management team i think maybe a lot of you know bianca and selena and flint who have also presented in the resilience series i believe um and they're working with different communities honestly it's not an office initiative to try to to reduce individual um plastic waste and that sort of thing but part of the forever mighty initiatives do you know encourage um end principles encourage um you know responsible travel and and we did have some messaging jonathan you might remember better about what the trip advisor messaging was that ran or that's still running i think through august for people it's it's targeted to people who are actually here in market visiting and there are a lot of messages i'll let you talk about it but yeah it covers everything from staying on the trail to actually not using single-use plastics and and carrying in a water bottle especially if you're in southern utah shopping locally it's it's really trying to to go into the forever mighty ethos that denise has talked about and provide travelers with information on why it benefits the community so much when you follow these things wonderful thank you all for that and i will use that as an opportunity to push our next session which is going to be flint timmons talking about many of the things the office of tourism is doing and i suspect we will get into this topic i'll say a little bit more about that when we wrap up for now just one final question to our panelists i'm curious to hear from you all what is just one final nugget of wisdom or an actionable takeaway you want to leave our audience with you can reinforce something you already said if you want to drive that home or if there's something new you want to add that you haven't had a chance to say you need a moment to think about it feel free to take that i think if there's something i could leave the the community with and that'd be the monthly board meetings are very important they provide a lot of information and and what we are seeing right now is that travelers are looking at more regional trips than than ever before costs are up and and so i do think it's not a time for panic but we have to be realistic about uh how far travelers are gonna be willing to travel uh in in the current circumstances um i yeah i will just say that just actually reinforcing something that denise said earlier but i started this job almost 10 years ago and when i started there was well there was very little information available very little data and so now we have so much and i just really want to reinforce you know use the data you know it's there we're all here to help you and definitely take advantage of it i i just want to echo what you said jennifer i i don't ever turn anyone away when they send me an email or call me um and ask me to help them understand information or where to find information um and so please reach out please uh if you you know have any questions at all sophisticated or unsophisticated with data use um anything's on the table and um i'm always happy to to point you in the right direction so that would be my number one thank you to our speakers for your suggestions advice and inspiration my key takeaway is that these speakers are an amazing resource as are their programs organizations and they're getting there's a lot of data out there for everyone that i hope folks will tap into i'm going to wrap this up so speakers i invite you to turn off your videos so you don't have to sit there awkwardly why would you just a little wrap up i want to turn back to our audience briefly before we wrap up and just really want to hear from you all all of our live participants what you're taking away from this session so we're going to do that again via the chat i'm going to put a prompt in the chat you know the drill type your response into the chat make sure your chats are going to everyone so everyone can see your response so again this question to the audience would really love to hear what is one thing you're taking away from this session so take a moment think about that when you're ready type your response into chat there are a lot more people on this call than we're responding previously so hopefully we'll hear from more of you give you about 20 more seconds to get some responses in there i know it takes a little time to type seeing people just identifying additional data sources that there's a lot more data out there than maybe you think you just need to go out and look for it or know where to look a lot of appreciation for these different data sources power of data right can really help us understand what's happening or what what might come down the pipeline and give you just about 10 more seconds to get a few more thoughts in there all right thank you to the members of our audience who participated again we love to hear from you know what you're taking away what you're interested in we do hope that everyone gained a lot of insight from this webinar take away some concrete ideas for how to better understand travel patterns spending patterns in your community just want to remind everyone that this webinar is recorded it will be available on our website for future viewing so if you found it helpful please share it with others feel free to obviously re-watch it spread the word about this session our previous sessions which are also recorded our future sessions and again just so it's there readily accessible for you is the link in the chat to our website we hope to see many of you at our upcoming sessions the next session will be on august 2nd from 12 to 1 o'clock mountain time and that session as i previously alluded to will be a primer on the utah office of tourism its programs and its resources so really encourage those of you especially here in utah to check that out as you were hopefully already getting a sense the office of tourism is a wonderful resource for the tourism industry throughout the state others from elsewhere might be able to learn from that as well you can learn more about that session and register on our training series website so check out that link i put in the chat and again just a reminder that you can access the past sessions and those recordings on that website as well we really want your feedback to help us make sure that our future sessions really meet your needs so please look for an automatic survey that will be sent to your email as soon as this session concludes it should take you just a minute or two to complete it is very short and your doing so will really help us make sure that we are meeting the needs of tourism businesses and other organizations across the state so with that a final thank you to our panelists to our audience and again we hope to see you at our next training session on august 2nd thanks everyone have a great rest of your day you