Weekly Updates for Ohio's Travel Economy, Aug. 28
Economic Losses Due to COVID-19, Entertainment and Sports Venue Reopenings, Travel Research Updates
Economic Impact Update
$9.1 BILLION LOSS TO OHIO TRAVEL ECONOMY THUS FAR; ONE IN FOUR INDUSTRY EMPLOYEES OUT OF WORK
As of Aug. 22, Ohio’s travel economy has lost $9.1 billion in travel spending, according to year-over-year data compiled by Tourism Economics. While Ohio’s overall unemployment numbers may be in the single-digits, nearly 147,000 Ohioans who depend on jobs from travel-related businesses are out of work. July’s unemployment report shows more than one out of four employees within this industry are unemployed. Those working in the arts, entertainment and recreation are experiencing a whopping 38% unemployment rate in Ohio, while those employed in accommodations and food services are at 24% unemployment.
Fewer travelers and less spending also means less tax dollars for public services – support for education, roads, fire and police protection, libraries and other social services. To date, taxes paid by travelers are down $265 million in state receipts and $158 million in local government receipts.
ALL ENTERTAINMENT VENUES PERMITTED TO OPEN. ENTERTAINMENT VENUE AND SPORTS ORDERS RELEASED TODAY
Governor Mike DeWine released new public health orders for entertainment venues and sports facilities. Please read these orders carefully, as well as the accompanying guidelines.
Entertainment venues not already open based on previous orders are permitted to open. This includes auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, concert and music halls, theaters, ballrooms, gymnasiums, convention centers, arcades, bingo halls, adult and child skill or chance games, laser tag facilities and interactive game facilities.
SPORTS ORDER LATER REVISED
Lt. Governor Husted announced Thursday that the current sports order (above) has been modified to clarify that participants shall not compete in more than one contest or game in any calendar day, as compared to the 24-hour period outlined in the original order. The goal of this adjustment in language is to assist organizers and teams when scheduling games or contests.
Travel Research Updates
FEAR AND BUDGET CUTS WHICH COULD LIMIT ATTENDEES OBSTACLES FOR BOOKINGS
If your business relies on meetings, conventions and trade show business, Northstar Meetings Group’s latest survey provides important insights.
Northstar Meetings Group surveys more than 800 planners, with just over 80 percent of them responsible for events in the United States. Their latest survey released Aug. 26 shows planners are more confident and rebooking activity is slowly rising. However, far fewer planners are expecting to produce in-person events in 2020, and most planners believe the second quarter of 2021 is the earliest they are likely to produce such gatherings. Fear remains the biggest obstacle; not just fear of travel, which impacts the viability of business events, but also the fear that uncertainty brings.
Here’s what they had to say about their latest survey:
- While 55% of planners are rescheduling events, 28% are researching but not ready to book. Another 10% is actively issuing RFPs and 7% are booking new events. Sourcing and booking intent have risen slightly since a month ago.
- Fear of safety, business expectations and budget cuts, variability of cases across the country are the primary factors affecting a planners ability to book.
- Planners are generally confident. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most confident, planners' confidence level for their immediate future averages 6.25.
- Local and regional events, and events of 100 or fewer attendees, have gained favor, as planners indicated they will plan more of them next year.
- Boutique hotels and resort properties currently are the most favored venues for near-term meetings.
- On-site technology tools are growing in interest relative to virtual, indicating a growing confidence in the return of physical events.
- Face masks and other safety protocols are now accepted as "industry standards," but testing — either on-site or prior to events — is not seen as a requirement.
- Planners are accepting digital events as solid options, and that they need to make virtual events an ongoing component of their portfolios. They are beginning to gain confidence in the business potential for virtual events.
PAST VISITORS, LOCAL VISITORS, WIDE OPEN SPACES TOP TRAVEL MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
Destination Analysts surveys more than 1,200 American travelers weekly. Here is a summary of their findings as of Aug. 23.
- Three-quarters of American travelers say they have tentative leisure trip plans in the next 16 months. For the remainder of 2020, approximately one-third of American travelers have at least tentative trip plans.
- Travelers continue to most commonly want to spend time with loved ones, enjoy nature and avoid crowds. Relaxation and finding peace of mind, amidst having fun and happiness will also be key in these travelers’ plans.
- Engaging past visitors is key, as 70.4% say they are likely to return to a destination they have previously visited, 42.0% still plan to visit a beach this year, 37.8% say they will visit a city, and 34.8% name small towns and rural areas as a trip destination.
- Half of American travelers report dining out at a restaurant in the past two months and 20.5% say they have visited an outdoor attraction.
- Distance-learning education may lead to more interest in family travel this fall, as 37.2% of parents with school-age children say the education uncertainty has made them more likely to travel this fall, while 20.4% say it makes them less likely.
- While nearly 40% say they will prioritize excitement and energy and seeing new places, there are many who say they will prioritize budget travel and staying close to home. In fact, 33% say they will be taking a staycation this year and 53.9% say they will be taking a regional trip under 200 miles.