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US Hotel Occupancy Rates Down Over Christmas

By +Eric Jafari

US Hotel Occupancy Rates Down Over ChristmasHotel occupancy in the US was down over the festive period, according to data from STR. The industry reported a 7.2 per cent fall, based on year-over-year comparisons. This means that between December 23rd and 29th, occupancy stood at 45.4 per cent.

However, it seems that other key performance metrics were also hit during Christmas, with average daily rates and revenue per available room both falling. STR claims that across the country, daily rates plummeted by an average of 1.6 per cent to $106.57 (£66.42), while revenue per room dropped to $48.34 (£30.13) - a fall of 8.7 per cent.

Brad Garner, STR's chief operating officer, explained: "A shift in the day Christmas and New Year's Eve fell on this year eroded last week's performance. We expect the industry to return to performance normalcy in the coming weeks. And while the year certainly will finish strong, we also look forward to tracking what the new normal might be with travel patterns post fiscal cliff."

Nevertheless, the Christmas period didn't bring doom and gloom for all hoteliers and among the top 25 markets, an increase in occupancy and revenue per room was noted in Seattle, WA. Occupancy stood at 45.1 per cent, which is a 5.9 per cent rise, while revenue per room increased 5.3 per cent to $42.83 (£26.70).  Average daily rate rises were also noted in Miami-Hialeah in Florida and Anaheim-Santa Ana, California, increasing 2.8 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively to $244.30 (£152.27) and $123.73 (£77.12).

Unfortunately, rises were not enjoyed in New Orleans and Nashville, which witnessed occupancy falls of 21.9 per cent and 20.3 per cent respectively. Nashville also recorded significant average daily rate losses, falling 11 per cent to $88.60 (£55.22) and revenue per room decreases of 29 per cent to $39.16 (£24.41). New Orleans posted revenue per room losses of 25.5 per cent, taking the total to $56.09 (£34.96).

It is hoped the fortunes of the US hotel sector will change in 2013, as the commercial property market continues its recovery and activity increases. Judging by the performance of other segments, this optimism may not be misguided.

23 January 2013


Hotel Investments,Hotel Performance,US Hotel Markets