October metrics offer glimpse of omicron effect

The latest monthly report from HotStats suggests that future hotel bookings, meetings and other hotel-related activity could be impacted by the presumed expectation of future travel impediments—whether self-imposed, company-imposed or government-mandated—due to the omicron variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus, if recent numbers are any guide.

“There is certainly a feeling of consternation and a sense of ‘here we go again’ when it comes to this new omicron strain, which is prompting local and federal levels to rethink the approach on restrictions,” report author David Eisen told Hotel Management. “Obviously, any new travel limitation or mandate is disadvantageous to the hotel industry. Until there is further clarity, hoteliers will need to continue their operational vigilance, focusing on cost control as a way to promote flow through amid still enervated revenue. COVID-19 is likely endemic, so in the long run, the best way to deal with it, is to live with it—safely.”

The ongoing delta variant continued to affect hotel metrics worldwide in October, suggesting what hoteliers may be able to expect in the coming months. From the report:


In the U.S., the key performance indicators were down double digits in October compared to the same month two years earlier. Occupancy improved during the first half of the year and hit its peak in July, but has largely plateaued since then, which the report cautions could be “a signal that the leisure boom could not be sustained at the same levels prior.”

Corporate travel, meanwhile, seems to be improving. In October, corporate average daily rate was $7 higher than in October 2019 and $35 higher than in the previous month. Corporate volume mix—the proportion of rooms sold at the corporate rate compared to total rooms sold—has grown 6 percentage points since July.

While the cost base across the U.S. remains stunted, revenue continues to lag 2019 levels. Total revenue per available room was down 30 percent in October versus the same month in 2019, and at $68.97, gross operating profit per available room was down 37 percent in the month versus its 2019 level.

Middle East

The Middle East, meanwhile, reported a “striking resurgence” bolstered by Expo 2020 in Dubai, a 182-day World Expo that began at the beginning of October and runs through March.

Occupancy in Dubai was recorded at above 80 percent, higher than at the same time in October 2019. The growth carried over into all top-line metrics, concluding with RevPAR hitting $192, a full $40 more than at the same time in 2019.

Not surprisingly, total revenue followed suit with TRevPAR hitting $281, 13 percent higher than in October 2019. The kicker: The increase in revenues was complemented by a still-deflated cost base. Total payroll in Dubai was $45 on a per-available-room basis, which was $14 lower than at the same time in 2019. The combination of revenue and expense led to GOPPAR of $150, a full $50 over October 2019.

The United Arab Emirates led to the Middle East region’s GOPPAR improvement. At $76, GOPPAR was 5 percent higher than at the same time in 2019 and a full 484 percent higher than in October 2020.


Europe’s recovery is similar to that of the U.S. in terms of the numbers, according to HotStats, with RevPAR, TRevPAR and GOPPAR off some 30 percent in October compared to 2019. This, the report said, suggests a “daunting fall and winter season” that is only being made worse by a new surge in infections and subsequent restrictions. 

The report highlighted utility expenses, which, at €5.28 per available room, are now at the same level as 2019. Annual inflation across euro-using countries hit 4.9 percent in November, driven mainly by soaring energy prices, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics office.


Similarly to Europe, the Asia-Pacific region is tightening borders in response to omicron. Japan is set to block foreign arrivals, only weeks after easing restrictions for visa holders, including short-term business travelers and international students. The Philippines, meanwhile, has barred arrivals from seven European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

Asia-Pacific GOPPAR reached $43 in October, down 38 percent compared to the same month in 2019, but 126 percent higher than in September 2019.