STR Data: Recovery of US Hotel Industry Is ‘Firmly Underway’

A full year after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the U.S. is averaging administering almost 3 million vaccine doses a day, said Jan Freitag, national director for hospitality analytics at CoStar. Oxford Economics reports that gross domestic product grew by 9% in the first quarter, which has positive implications for the American travel industry.

In a year-over-year comparison, March 2021’s revenue per available room percentage change was “very positive” at 34%, he said.

“The percent changes going forward are going to be even more positive and maybe even a little hard to comprehend,” he said. “For example, for the week ending April 10, RevPAR in the U.S. was up 311%.”

Going forward, STR will show year-over-year percentage changes as well as comparisons to the corresponding months in 2019, he said. For most hoteliers, 2019 is considered to be a “normal year,” but it’s important to understand it was also the single-best year the U.S. hotel industry has reported for both room demand and occupancy. STR is CoStar’s hospitality analytics firm.

Looking at 2021 first-quarter data, the changes compared to 2019 are still negative, but slightly less so than in prior months, Freitag said.

“In other words, the recovery is firmly underway in the U.S. lodging industry,” he said.

A year ago, occupancy declined rapidly while occupancy this year is comparatively stronger, he said. The results are still well below the long-run average, but the expectation is that occupancy will continue to solidify through the summer thanks to ongoing leisure demand and a boost from corporate group demand after Labor Day.



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