Dear Seattle Tourism Improvement Area Partners,
Similar to the first quarter, Q2 was down year-over-year due to increased room supply. Occupancy for STIA hotels in the quarter was 83% versus 86% in last year’s Q2. ADR was $215, down 10% from $239 in 2018. RevPAR declined from $206 last year to $178 – down 13%. Available rooms increased for the quarter by 13.1% or 166,530 based on the five hotels that opened in the market since last year’s Q2. Note: rooms sold increased 99,793 or 9.1% for the quarter.
There were no new hotels that opened in Q2 of 2019, and we do not anticipate any further openings in the STIA this year.
Please note that group rooms especially were impacted in the quarter. This year there were 252,351 group rooms in Q2 as compared to 289,874 last year. The decline was 12.9% and had an effect on rates across all segments throughout the quarter. The greatest impact was seen when looking at May. In May 2018, we hosted the INTA convention with 5,500 rooms peak and more than 28,000 rooms total, but there was no comparable group in May 2019.
On a year-to-date basis, STIA hotels occupancy was 77.2% versus 80.9% in 2018. RevPAR declined 11.7%; available rooms is up 16.2%.
San Francisco’s performance is still the best in the West Coast – YTD RevPAR up 7% – followed by Vancouver, up 4.2%. Portland was down 4.3%.
In 2019 we have seen great success with our video-based approach to destination marketing.
Over 14.5 million minutes of content has been watched so far this year, which is up 65% YoY. Our YouTube subscribers are up 33% and we are seeing 95% of traffic to VISITSEATTLE.tv coming from outside of Washington State.
Here are some Q2 highlights from VISITSEATTLE.tv:
We launched the third and final episode of Music Genesis that features Ben Bridwell, the lead singer for Band of Horses, who spoke to us about one of their hits, “On My Way Back Home”, that was inspired by a walk from Belltown to Capitol Hill. Collectively, the series has over 2 million views.
Uncharted: Seattle follows Seattle’s dynamic change-agents as they shift the city’s culture for the better. This series consists of five video episodes as well as Visit Seattle’s first-ever podcast series. The video series has over 3 million minutes of watch time, and over 4.6 million views across YouTube and partner channels. The podcast is averaging 30 listens per day.
We filmed our latest series, SODO Motive, that features four artists who participated in the SODO Track mural project. We brought these four artists back together to recount their SODO Track experience, and create a new piece of art together that visitors can experience at Seattle Center. The video will launch in September.
We wrapped the first year of our weSEAlove campaign in which we posted images for 365 days straight to show how Seattle supports the LGTBQ+ community. As the first 365 days came to a close, we created a recap video that featured every image from weSEAlove’s year one campaign.
We are also partnered with Q Digital to amplify our message of inclusivity to an audience of over 8 million people. With the help of Q Digital, we created weSEAlove: Behind the Image, a short video series that goes “behind the image” of five photos featured within the first year of weSEAlove.
As another element of the Q Digital partnership, Visit Seattle sponsored the Queerty Pride 50 event in New York City that took place on June 19. The event celebrated the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and honored 50 people who have made an impact in the LGBTQ+ community. Two of the honorees were Seattleites: Mayor Jenny Durkan and Vlada Knowlton. Knowlton is the mother of a trans child and a filmmaker who created a film called The Most Dangerous Year. She is featured in our Behind the Image video series.
We also created Seattle Pride pins that will be handed out by GSBA at Pride celebrations throughout the summer.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
A key destination event, the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon took place on June 7-9. In an ongoing effort to promote our destination and welcome visitors to the city, we hosted a Visit Seattle-branded booth at the two-day Health & Fitness Expo. We distributed roughly 4,000 Visit Seattle-branded sunglasses, nearly 500 copies of our recently released Summer/Fall Official Visitors’ Guide, and just over 350 walking maps. We also gave racers an opportunity to return to the Emerald City and run among Seattle’s beautiful neighborhoods via a special Seattle Marathon giveaway.
Knowing that 2019 has been a cooler year for the Seattle hotel community, we developed a plan to harvest immediate hotel demand in downtown Seattle this summer. We selected four media partners (Expedia, Kayak, Sojern, and Adara) because of their ability to report quantifiable results. Within the first two weeks of the campaign, we’ve produced over 2,000 room night bookings through Expedia and have driven over 8,600 visits to the Book Now page on visitseattle.org. This campaign will continue through the end of the year.
Refract is in its inaugural year, taking place October 17-20, and we are beyond excited to welcome glass art enthusiasts to Seattle. Over the four-day period, 50+ artists and organizations will host parties, exhibitions, studio tours, and more.
We launched the Refract website, which includes details on signature events and an overview of the festival. Coming soon to the website is information on how hotels will be partnering with us to promote the event. We have a media campaign running with partners that include The Stranger, Art News, Hyperallergic, and Urban Glass.
We have carved out the STIA subset and have compiled transient weekday/weekend rate, occupancy, and RevPAR by month. We are reporting 2019 results as compared to a five-year average (2014-2018) and to 2018 performance. The full report is located on the dashboard.
|June YTD||YTD RevPAR Overall||2019 %Change||YTD RevPAR Weekend||2019 %Change|
|5 year average||$105.00||$107.57|
Monthly activity and website analytics are reported in graph form in the dashboard. For detailed information on any of our initiatives, please contact us.
President & CEO
SVP & Chief Marketing Officer
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