Latest data shows hotel bookings in the US are on the rise

The latest hotel booking data from STR (Smith Travel Research) reveals that, for the first time in the many weeks that have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, US hoteliers have sold more than ten million overnight stays in the week ending May 9. 2020.

STR Senior Vice President, Lodging Insights Jan Freitag said Hotel News Now that these figures show an increase of more than three million overnight stays during the week of April 11. Although indications of recovery may come slowly, Freitag says that’s a good thing.


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U.S. hotel occupancy rose to 30.1% for the May 9 weekend, representing what he called a “very healthy” increase in weekend occupancy rates. end for the second consecutive week.

Freitag pointed to Daytona Beach and the Florida Panhandle area, with beach access, as the submarkets with the largest difference in weekday and weekend occupancy rates in the United States.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) at hotels in resort destinations was still down 82.4% from the same week in 2019. “Granted, it’s not yet the time for vacation destinations,” Freitag said.

For the week in question, total U.S. RevPAR rates had fallen 74.4% year over year, which, while still a staggering loss, qualifies as “less bad” than what we have seen in previous weeks.

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA, seaside resort town. Skyline.  (photo via SeanPavonePhoto/Stock/Getty Images Plus)
PHOTO: Daytona Beach, Florida, resort. (Photo via SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Top 25 US Markets

Among large-scale markets, those at the high end are not seeing quite the same level of rebound as those at the low end. Freitag said STR sees “very large percentage changes in RevPAR in the range of less than 88%,” among the more upscale hotels.

In contrast, low-end and economy hotels saw a 45% drop in RevPAR, while mid-range occupancy saw a 60% drop in RevPAR rates for the week. among the cheapest properties.

“In other words, the occupancy rate for the week ending May 9 for luxury hotels was below 17%, but for budget hotels it was above 40%,” he said. declared. “We expect this pattern to continue.”

Other promising signs can be seen in the numbers for the top 25 US markets, which all recorded double-digit occupancy during the period.

Freitag observed that New York City occupancy levels are now “firmly in the 40% range,” while most of the top 25 markets recorded occupancy rates between 20 and 30%.

Chinese Recovery Comparison

Compared to the Chinese recovery, which has been observed earlier than in the rest of the world,

Just after the Chinese New Year (January 25), hotels in mainland China saw significant declines in occupancy, while February and March 2020 began a very slow recovery, Freitag said. As their closures began to ease towards the end of March, Chinese leisure travelers fled to destinations by car, resulting in a slight increase in weekend occupancy levels. .

The data demonstrated a very similar trend to what was seen in Florida over the May 9 weekend, STR observed. There was also a surge in hotel demand over the May Day holiday weekend in China, which Freitag expects to happen in the United States over the July 4 weekend.

Overall, while these signs of a gradual recovery aren’t exactly impressive, Freitag believes they offer ample reason for optimism. “There are green shoots; there is positive news to be seen in the global data and in the US data,” he said.

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