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Tourism in San Antonio

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A study done by D.K. Schifflet & Associates shows that 9.1 million of the 21.3 million annual visitors to San Antonio were overnight leisure travelers, up 20% from 2002. It also shows that the average overnight leisure traveler spends ~$92 dollars per person per day while in town. San Antonio also attracted 8.1 million day-trippers last year. The busiest time for tourism is during spring break and summer. The study is conducted every two years.

The majority of San Antonio's overnight visitors, or 81 percent, come from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Of those visitors, three-quarters come from Texas alone, with Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth being the top markets.

San Antonio's $7.2 billion tourism industry is the city's second-largest, behind health care, and employs more than 80,000 people.

Compared with competitors such as Phoenix, New Orleans and San Diego, more people traveled to San Antonio for a "getaway weekend" or "general vacation."

San Antonio Express-News: San Antonio booming as leisure destination

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Another recent article talks about the record number of hotel rooms that were booked in the second quarter of this year. Rooms booked in the city were up 89% in May and 100% in June over the sames months of last year. The bookings were pushed by a number of large conventions and the Spurs appearence in the NBA Finals.

July is expected to be strong, with 20,000 attendees from the Texas High School Coaches Training meeting.

Nationally, tourism is seeing gains over last year, and local officials expected this year to be good, with 12 citywide conventions booked for 2005. But San Antonio's second-quarter tourism numbers already have surpassed expectations.

May saw four citywide conventions, including an educators convention and a huge urologists meeting that attracted about 40,000 hotel room nights toward the end of the month.

In June, San Antonio hosted five citywide conventions, including meetings on mass spectrometry and from government finance officers.

The article also mentions that attendance is up 5% at the Alamo with 219,720 visitors in May and 261,926 in June. While the number of visitors to the Alamo is up, spending their is down, most likely due to increased gas prices.

San Antonio Express-News: S.A. coffers catch tourism boom

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The Business Journal had a different take on the study done by D.K. Schifflet & Associates. While San Antonio ranked #10 in the nation with .81% of the U.S. overnight leisure travelers, 75% of those came from within the state of Texas. Meanwhile, a total of 4% came from the Northeast U.S. and West Coast combined. Some officials feel the city needs to diversify their base of travelers to SA before it can become a true national/international destination.

Only 15 percent of overnight leisure travelers were drawn here by San Antonio's nightlife. More than twice as many came here to see Shamu or ride a roller coaster.

Interestingly, despite the presence of a championship NBA team and a successful college football bowl game, more of San Antonio's overnight leisure travelers camped out (4 percent) than watched sports (3 percent), according to the D.K. Schifflet & Associates report. That's far below the 13 percent of overnight leisure travelers who visited the Dallas/Fort Worth region last year and claimed to have included sports-watching on their itinerary. Part of them are race fans, lured to the Metroplex by big events at Texas Motor Speedway.

San Antonio Business Journal: Alamo City's leisure-travel numbers hitting too close to home

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By 2008, San Antonio could add 2,000 hotel rooms to the already existing 11,000 rooms in downtown. This is a rundown of five projects taking place.

Hotel Contessa - 265 rooms, complete November 2005

Staybridge Hotel - 109 rooms, complete 2006

Drury Plaza Hotel - conversion of the 24-story Alamo National Building, 305 rooms, complete June 2006 (phase II could add 80 more rooms)

Unnamed conversion of the Gibbs Building - five star, 91 room, complete 2007

Hyatt Convention Center Hotel - 34-stories, 1,000 rooms, complete 2008

San Antonio Express-News: New hotels to change downtown landscape

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HollyHills Development is planning to build a four-star resort hotel on 1,000 acres of land it owns in southwest Bexar County. The $200M project will include a 350-room hotel, 625 time-share units and a two-acre waterpark.

The hotel will have a Spanish colonial feel. Rooms will feature balconies and high ceilings and be generously sized at about 500 square feet. The water attraction will be geared to children, with a wading pool, tunnels and slides.

Heitzler said the funding is already in place for the hotel and vacation ownership property that could reach up to 1,000 time-share units, depending on demand and sales. He expects the hotel's management company to be announced soon.

They also plan to build properties in downtown San Antonio and on the Texas coast were the time-share owners could swap out properties among the different areas. Construction could begin by March on next year.

San Antonio Express-News: HollyHills planning a four-star hotel resort

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Red Lion Hotels is looking at a major expansion in the south and southwestern U.S. and SA is expected to be in those plans.

San Antonio, despite its tourism and convention trade, does not have any Red Lion properties presently. That will likely change as the company plans to expand here and to a number of other markets, including Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Coffey tells the Business Journal that San Antonio is a place Red Lion wants to be.

No decision has been made yet as to when or where in the city they would built it.

San Antonio Business Journal: Red Lion Hotels looking to enter the S.A. market

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The SA Tourism Council brought in a group of experts to speak at the State of the Tourism Industry event this week. The experts cautioned against the overbuilding hotel rooms in the city, where 1,800 rooms are currently under construction. They also advised the council to aggresively market the city and attractions to keep luring conventions to SA.

Also, the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau announced a new plan to lure travelers.

On Thursday, Methodist Health Care System and Mexicana Airlines announced medical vacation packages for Mexicans that include airfare, hotels and an exam by a U.S. doctor. Three physician groups in San Antonio are participating in the packages, which go on sale Monday.

Medical tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry, and much of that business goes to Houston, said Frances Schultschik, who oversees the bureau's international public relations.

Five percent of Mexico's population travels to the United States for medical purposes, she said, but generally Mexican nationals come here to shop.

San Antonio Express-News: Experts advise S.A. on tourism

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With an upscale shopping presence now in northwest SA, with the Sept opening of the Shopa at La Cantera, hotel occupancy in the area is on the rise. The Westin La Cantera Resort is expecting it's highest December occupancy since it opened six years ago.

"I have unquestionably seen, in a short period, more Mexican nationals than I've seen in the past," Cherone said. "No doubt there's more traffic coming through the doors."

December typically is a slow month for resorts, he said, and it's even more challenging for the Westin because it isn't downtown or on the River Walk, he said.

"But now we got the Shops," Cherone said. He expects a 10 percent increase in occupancy next month compared with last December.

The Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa is also expecting a 10% increase over December 2004.

San Antonio Express-News: Westin expects to mark highest December occupancy

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With the hurricanes causing damage to New Orleans and Mexico, which is usually the top travel destinations for Texans, San Antonio is expected to see an increase in travelers.

According to travel agents with AAA Texas, San Antonio will be the No. 1 Thanksgiving destination this year, followed by Orlando, Fla., New York, Branson, Mo., and Las Vegas.

San Antonio Business Journal: San Antonio expected to benefit from Thanksgiving travel

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San Antonio hotel occupancy rates have been steadily increasing since the slump after the 9-11 attacks. They are expected to be in the 70% range for years to come. The cities hotel room supply has only grown by less than 2% in recent years but is expected to top 3% this year and next year.

"San Antonio can be a 70 percent-occupancy marketplace like it did before. It can get back to historical occupancies in the high 60s to low 70s for the rest of the decade," said John M. Keeling, senior vice president of PKF Consulting in Houston, at a San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association luncheon.

San Antonio Express-News: S.A. hotel outlook seen as promising

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This is an arricle about the Fort Worth Bowl, but because the city has not done an economic impact study of the event, it used the study done by San Antonio for the 2004 Alamo Bowl as a measuring stick. The study showed that the sold out game attracted 39,350 visitors to SA with 28,400 coming from out of state which had a $21 million economic impact.

They also didn

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The city's tourism industry has a lot to live up to for 2006 as it comes off a stellar year. In 2005, San Antonio set records in booking hotel rooms, reaching higher hotel tax collections, and launching successful marketing plans focusing on the Midwest.

The biggest challenge that looms ahead is trying to book more hotel rooms for 2007, a year that's predicted to have almost a 25 percent decline in room nights booked due to the lack of conventions.

San Antonio Express-News: Filling the beds: City scrambling to counteract convention shortage

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Hotel occupancy was up 24% in October, November, and December of 2005 over the same months in 2004. In December alone, $3.6M was added to the city's tax base. 2006 is shaping up to be a strong year convention wise after a record year in 2005. Hotel bookings for 2007 are way down, but is starting to pick up.

In 2005, 179 groups brought a total of 83,586 people to San Antonio. Those convention delegates spent an estimated $86.9 million. This year, 172 groups are scheduled to gather in San Antonio, bringing almost 70,000 visitors expected to spend $72.4 million.

San Antonio Express-News: Boom in convention business fattens city coffers

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Omni Snaps Up 2 Hotels

Omni has just bought the new Watermark and La Mansion del Rio in San Antonio. The latter needed renovation the last time I saw the place, but its location is sterling. I think this is a good development for the city. Omni has the money to keep both hotels in good shape. From the Hotel-Online/San Antonio Express-News

http://www.hotel-online.com/News/2006_Feb_...1138984187.html

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San Antonio's tourism industry is off to great start in 2006 with record-breaking hotel occupancy numbers in January and one of the best spring breaks ever, tourism officials said Tuesday.

January's strength made San Antonio no. 1 among the top 25 U.S. cities for increasing both room nights sold and room revenue from a year earlier, according to Smith Travel Research.

The hotel occupancy in January was at 61.2%, nearly 19% higher than in 2005. The third week in March (spring break) say an occupancy rate of 94.6%.

San Antonio Express-News: San Antonio tourism industry off to a rocking start this year

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A new study show that over 21 million visitors came to San Antonio in 2004 which had a $8.7 billion economic impact and generating nearly $100 million in taxes and fees. The tourism industry employs about 94,000 people only trailing the health care industry in employment.

The study, conducted every two years by the San Antonio Area Tourism Council, San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association and San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, looked at businesses involved in transportation, lodging and entertainment/recreational activities, as well as restaurants.

San Antonio Express-News: Tourism numbers take off

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The first quarter of this year continues to show strong gains for hotels.

The city's occupancy rate for the first quarter was 68.3 percent, up 6.7 percent from a year ago. Hotel daily rates were up 9.6 percent to $94.60 and revenue per room

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The Big XII Championship Game in football will be played at the Alamodome on Dec. 1, 2007. San Antonio had previously hosted the game in 1997 & 1999.

Local officials say the nearly 47,000 fans who traveled from outside San Antonio to the 1999 game helped generate more than $8 million in direct impact.

"After hosting and selling out two of the first four Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championships, San Antonio has first-hand knowledge of how this event will benefit the city's economic cycle of visitation, as well as provide tremendous media exposure," Alamodome Director Mike Abington says.

San Antonio Business Journal: S.A. scores 2007 Big 12 Football Championship game

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Hotel rooms booked in SA were up in January and February of this year with an increase of hotel tax collected up 14% over last year. But, is expected to drop off due to fewer conventions being booked.

The city is expected to have 24 medium-size conventions this year, compared with 34 last year. The number of huge conventions, or groups needing more than 3,000 hotel rooms in one night, is down by one to eight this year.

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