Mardi Gras celebrations helped but US hotel occupancy continues decline, report reveals


The US hotel industry posted declines in all three key performance metrics during the week of 15-21 February 2009, according to data from Smith Travel Research (STR).

In year-over-year measurements, the overall US hotel industry’s occupancy rate fell 11.6 percent to end the week at 54.1 percent (61.2 percent in the comparable week in 2008). Average daily rate dropped 7.2 percent to finish the week at US$100.00 (US$107.75 in 2008). Revenue per available room for the week decreased 17.9 percent to finish at US$54.14 (US$65.97 in 2008).

According to the STR report, the Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans, Louisiana, helped account for that market’s increases in occupancy, ADR and RevPAR. STR said: “It was the only market among the Top 25 markets to report increases in all three key performance measurements. Occupancy rose 6.8 percent, ending the week at 72.1 percent. New Orleans reported double-digit increases in ADR and RevPAR; ADR increased 15.7 percent to US$148.71, and RevPAR increased 23.6 percent to US$107.28.”

Among the Top 25 markets, Chicago, Illinois reported the largest declines in all three measurements. Chicago‚s occupancy was down 25.5 percent to 43.9 percent; ADR declined 17.7 percent to US$96.97; RevPAR dropped 38.7 percent to US$42.54. Other major declines were reported by San Francisco/San Mateo, California, dropping 31.5 percent in RevPAR to US$77.78, as well as Miami-Hialeah, Florida, decreasing 27.1 percent in RevPAR to $136.59.

Among the chain-scale segments the Luxury segment reported the largest decreases in all three key performance measurements. The Luxury segment decreased in occupancy by 17.5 percent to 59.4 percent, in ADR 12.2 percent to US$265.13 and in RevPAR 27.5 percent to US$157.52. The Upper Upscale segment posted large decreases in occupancy (down 13.9 percent to 60.9 percent) and RevPAR (down 21.8 percent to US$90.18). The Economy segment posted the smallest decreases in occupancy (down 10.1 percent to 47.5 percent) and RevPAR (down 13.2 percent to US$24.44).