Travel Demand to Masters Tournament Down 33%

Patrick Surry - Jan. 31, 2016

Summary

  • There is an over 200% increase in travel demand to Augusta for the dates of the Masters Tournament as compared to surrounding dates.
  • However, overall there is a 32% decrease in demand for the Masters Tournament this year as compared to last year.
  • Places with the highest demand for travel to the tournament are White Plains (NY), Houston (TX), and Providence (RI).
  • Cities with the highest demand for flights to the Masters are also some of the highest income locations in the US.

Popularity of Masters Tournament

The Masters Tournament, held in Augusta Georgia April 10-13, is drawing extra visitors to the area.  This year travel search to August increased by over 200%  for the dates of the tournament as compared to other surrounding weeks (up 184% from previous weeks, and 269% from following weeks).  However, compared to last year, and correcting for overall growth in US flight search,  there is a 32% decrease in demand for the tournament (Figure 1).

A combination of cold weather this year, the absence of past masters playing (1), specifically the absence of Tiger Woods (2), may all be impacting popularity.  

Figure 1:  Search demand for travel to Augusta during the Masters Tournament

Figure 2 shows the places with the highest demand for fights to the Masters with White Plains (NY), Providence (RI),  Houston (TX), and New York (NY) leading the group.  Table 1 also shows how the places with top demand break down in terms of financial demographics.  It can be seen that the top two destinations are in the top 2% and 15% of metropolitan areas in terms of income and all cities on the list are above average in terms of income.

Figure 1:  Cities with highest search demand for travel to Augusta during the Masters Tournament

City

Popularity Rank

MSA

Per Capita Income Percentile (By MSA)

White Plains

1

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

98%

Providence

2

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

85%

Houston

3

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

94%

New York

4

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

98%

St. Louis

5

St. Louis, MO-IL

82%

San Antonio

6

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

53%

West Palm Beach

7

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

80%

Memphis

8

Memphis, TN-MS-AR

59%

Dallas

9

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

86%

Austin

10

Austin-Round Rock, TX

74%

Table 1: Income brackets for cities with most demand to the Masters Tournament

1.http://www.augusta.com/masters/players/

2.http://www.cbssports.com/golf/eye-on-golf/24510039/tiger-woods-will-miss-2014-masters

Data and Methodology

The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes about 10 million queries and 1 billion trips per day.  Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market.

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