How Scottsdale Tourism Plans To Recover From COVID-19
While occupancy rates at Scottsdale hotels and resorts have increased since plummeting to around 8% in April, the industry still expects significantly fewer customers this year.
Research firm STR forecasts Scottsdale occupancy will be 40% for the entire year compared to nearly 71% last year.
Stephanie Pressler, director of community affairs for Experience Scottsdale, the marketing agency that handles the city’s tourism, said since few people are booking luxury cruises and tours, her agency is focusing on travel advisers who work with affluent consumers.
“Just in the past six weeks, our tourism team has been able to virtually train over 1,500 travel advisers on how to sell Scottsdale,” she said.
Due to COVID-19, she said analysts predict people will feel more secure driving in the near future.
“They’re not quite ready to go on airplanes yet and so they want to travel in their cars and they’re most likely not going to be traveling above 500 miles,” she said.
Analysts also say people are interested in health and wellness and looking to create experiences with friends and family.
“So when we’re talking to, you know, any of our clients or leisure visitors we’re going to be really focusing on those elements that Scottsdale is really the perfect destination for that because we have this beautiful Sonoran desert, these wide open spaces,” Pressler said.
On the marketing front, Experience Scottsdale will work on increasing brand awareness in regional and drive markets: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. Pressler said they will rely more on television, radio and digital campaigns rather than print campaigns so they can change messaging quickly if needed.
In late May, the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association launched a program in partnership with the American Hotel and Lodging Association to help hotels and resorts boost consumer confidence.