In light of the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Milwaukee earlier this week, where a travel economist spoke about the national and international travel trends, we’ll take a look at one of their reports to better understand just what this metric means and what it could mean for Door County.
The Travel Trends Index (TTI) is a comprehensive look at current and potential future direction and pace of travel volume to and within the United States. It measures trips that involved a hotel stay and/or a flight. The index includes subcategories such as domestic, international, leisure and business. It helps the United States Travel Association, (USTA) which created the index, better interpret changes in tourism and travel.
The most recent available report in January 2017 saw an increase in travel by 2.4 percent compared to January 2016. That trend has been going for 85 months, since the 2008 financial crisis began mending.
Inbound international travel was the biggest boost to the recent gains, but the USTA thinks a strengthening dollar is making travel to the United States more expensive, meaning their outlook for future international travel is not as strong.
Domestic and leisure travel saw slight gains while business travel remained stagnant.
The USTA is optimistic that business travel will pick up with the current Trump administration, which has promised a generally favorable climate for businesses with deregulation and tax cuts.
While the USTA lacks much state-specific reporting, local tourism entities can glean some value from the data.
With an expected increase in business travel, it may be time to draw up a new promotion plan for that conference and expo center.
Jon Jarosh of the Door County Visitor Bureau said that while Door County does see some international visitors, a majority of the tourists come from the region, leaving Door County insulated from the decrease in international travel when compared to places such as New York City.
Jarosh also said that Door County is also somewhat insulated from business travel because a majority of the tourists in the county are there for leisure. But that could change with a strong outlook for increased business travel.
Perhaps Sturgeon Bay could be the future host of the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Appleton already has the 2018 conference booked, but that only gives us more time to prepare.
Crop prices (March 14)
Rio Creek Feed Mill – Algoma
|Commodity||Price (per bushel)||Basis|
|New-Crop Wheat (SRW)||$3.66||-0.80|
Fox River Valley Ethanol – Green Bay
Basis: The difference between the local cash price for a commodity and the Chicago cash price (where the Board of Trade sets national futures price).
Gas Price Averages
United States: $2.29
United States one year ago: $1.94
Wisconsin one year ago: $1.97
Northern Door: $2.32
Sturgeon Bay: $2.33
Gold: $1,198.50/troy ounce
Silver: $16.88/troy ounce
Sources: aaa.com, agweb.com, gasbuddy.com, money.cnn.com, United States Travel Association Travel Trends Index