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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Down 9% Compared to Same Week in 2019


by Calculated Risk on 8/26/2021 10:14:00 AM

Note: The year-over-year occupancy comparisons are easy, since occupancy declined sharply at the onset of the pandemic. So STR is comparing to the same week in 2019.

The occupancy rate is down 9.1% compared to the same week in 2019.

Reflecting seasonal demand patterns and concerns around the pandemic, U.S. hotel performance continued to decline from previous weeks, according to STR’s latest data through August 21.

August 15-21, 2021 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019*):

o Occupancy: 63.7% (-9.1%)
o Average daily rate (ADR): $135.77 (+5.1%)
o Revenue per available room (RevPAR): $86.43 (-4.5%)

While none of the Top 25 Markets recorded an occupancy increase over 2019, Detroit came closest to its 2019 comparable (-0.7% to 69.3%).

*Due to the steep, pandemic-driven performance declines of 2020, STR is measuring recovery against comparable time periods from 2019.

emphasis added

The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

Click on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2021, black is 2020, blue is the median, dashed purple is 2019, and dashed light blue is for 2009 (the worst year on record for hotels prior to 2020).

Occupancy is above the horrible 2009 levels and weekend occupancy (leisure) has been solid – but, according to STR, occupancy is declining due to both seasonal factors and “concerns around the pandemic”.

Note: Y-axis doesn’t start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

With solid leisure travel, the Summer months had decent occupancy – but it is uncertain what will happen in the Fall with business travel – especially with the sharp increase in COVID pandemic cases and hospitalizations.

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