While there is still very good reason to be cautiously optimistic just five months into 2022, tourism so far is rebounding strong from the COVID pandemic that devastated the tourism industry in Adams County and around the world for nearly 18 months.
Through April, lodging reports measuring occupancy, average daily rate and revenue are showing a strong start to 2022, providing evidence that Americans are getting back out on the road again.
According to Smith Travel Research (STR), the occupancy rate for the first four months of the year in Adams County is 48.9%, 14.7% higher than the same months in 2021.
Likewise, the average daily rate for participating lodging facilities in January, February, March and April was $100.93-24.8 percent higher than 2021.
In each of the first three months of the year, total lodging revenue, as calculated by the Adams County treasurer’s office, has exceeded the revenue during the same months since the tax was first assessed on overnight stays in 2001.
So far, through March, more than $8.7 million has been spent by visitors on lodging in hotels/motels, bed and breakfasts, campground cabins and cottages, as well as short-term rentals. Historically, the strongest months for overnight stays in Adams County are June, July and October.
Lodging isn’t the only indicator of tourism’s success in Adams County, but can be a strong barometer for measuring visitation and consumer sentiment for travel, something that has been increasingly important since the pandemic.
One segment of the travel industry that is also starting to show signs of recovery is the group travel industry. Throughout the pandemic, student and adult groups canceled or postponed trips to Gettysburg and most destinations throughout the country.
Here in Adams County, group travel is a strong component of tourism – with an estimated 15,000 groups visiting each year prior to COVID. Today, while still short of pre-pandemic levels, groups are beginning to return, and through Destination Gettysburg’s relationships with tour operators and group travel leaders, we are expecting strong years ahead for group travel.
Gettysburg remains one of the most popular destinations for group travel. Just weeks ago, Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) named Gettysburg a “Top Destination to Watch in 2022 and Beyond” in its May issue of “Teach & Travel” magazine.
Gettysburg joins 23 other top destinations including Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Orlando as well as international getaways such as Italy, Costa Rica, France and the United Kingdom. Colonial Williamsburg joins Gettysburg as the only other historic U.S. destination on the list.
SYTA is the national nonprofit, professional trade association that promotes student and youth travel, and seeks to foster integrity and professionalism among student and youth travel service providers.