U.S. Hotel Market Posts Declines in Key Metrics

Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | December 23, 2009 10:10 AM ET

(HENDERSONVILLE, TN) -- According to data from Smith Travel Research, the U.S. hotel industry posted declines in all three key performance measurements during November.

In year-over-year measurements, the industry's occupancy fell 4.3 percent to end the month at 49.5 percent. Average daily rate dropped 8.3 percent to finish the month at US$93.60. Revenue per available room for the month decreased 12.3 percent to finish at US$46.33.

"Although we're seeing marginal improvement in industry performance, November numbers were somewhat disappointing," said Bobby Bowers, senior vice president at STR. "Occupancy has declined at a slower rate during each of the past three months, but there's not much sign of life on the ADR front. Industry RevPAR fell more than 25 percent when November 2009 and November 2008 numbers are combined. As we move through 2010, industry occupancy should flatten and move into positive territory as supply growth slows and demand gains traction. Only then will room rates gain the foundation needed for positive growth."

Among the Chain Scale segments, the Luxury segment was the only one to report an increase in any of the three key metrics. The segment's occupancy rose 1.1 percent to 59.4 percent. The Upper Upscale segment's occupancy ended the month virtually flat with a 0.2-percent decrease to 60.3 percent.

Among the Top 25 Markets, Detroit, Michigan, experienced the largest occupancy increase, rising 5.6 percent to 47.3 percent, followed by Oahu Island, Hawaii (+5.3 percent to 72.6 percent), and San Francisco/San Mateo, California (+4.7 percent to 66.3 percent). Houston, Texas, posted the only double-digit occupancy decrease, falling 25.6 percent to 52.1 percent.

None of the top markets reported ADR or RevPAR increases for the month. Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia, posted the smallest ADR decrease, falling 5.5 percent to US$67.95. Three markets reported ADR decreases of more than 15 percent: New York, New York (-16.6 percent to US$245.91); New Orleans, Louisiana (-16.0 percent to US$109.74); and Atlanta, Georgia (-15.6 percent to US$77.92).

Four markets experienced RevPAR decreases of less than 5 percent: Denver, Colorado (-4.9 percent to US$46.80); Oahu Island (-3.0 percent to US$104.69); Detroit (-2.9 percent to US$34.79); and Norfolk-Virginia Beach (-2.7 percent to US$29.78). Houston reported the largest RevPAR decrease, falling 36.3 percent to US$45.26, followed by Atlanta (-19.6 percent to US$37.36) and Dallas, Texas (-17.2 percent to US$39.63).

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