STR: Canada hotel occupancy hits 3-year high

Canada’s monthly hotel occupancy reached its highest absolute level for any month since August 2019, according to STR’s August 2022 data. For the month (percentage change from July 2019):

  • Occupancy: 76.4 percent (-3.0 percent)
  • Average daily rate: CAD212.38 (+14.6 percent)
  • Revenue per available room: CAD162.36 (+11.2 percent)

While the occupancy hit a three-year high, compared with July's numbers, each of the three key performance metrics showed weakened comparisons with 2019.

When adjusted for inflation, ADR was up 2.7 percent against the pre-pandemic comparable.

"August is typically the seasonal peak for key performance indicators in Canada," said Laura Baxter, CoStar Group's director of hospitality analytics for Canada. (CoStar Group is the parent company of STR.)

“This year, however, August performance was on par with July in absolute terms but slightly lower when looking at the recovery index to 2019,” Baxter said. “No one segment is responsible for this decline, with the pullback taking place across the board, both in transient and group as well as during the weekday and weekend. The weekday rate index, however, bucked the trend and showed a marginal improvement month over month as hoteliers were able to push rates on Monday nights due to strong leisure demand.”

Top Markets

Among the provinces and territories, Prince Edward Island recorded the highest August occupancy level (94 percent), which was 0.2 percent below the pre-pandemic comparable.

Along the major markets, Vancouver saw the highest occupancy (85.7 percent), which was a 5.1 percent decrease from 2019.

The lowest occupancy among provinces was reported in Saskatchewan (62.2 percent), up 3 percent against 2019. At the market level, the lowest occupancy was reported in Edmonton (+9.6 percent to 60.6 percent).

“Looking ahead, group and corporate demand will play a more prominent role in recovery for reasons beyond the typical seasonal shift away from transient leisure as summer ends,” Baxter said. “The economic outlook has dimmed while soaring inflation and rising interest rates continue to put downward pressure on discretionary spending from the transient leisure segment. And with more group and corporate and less transient leisure demand in the business mix, ADR growth will decelerate. But it is important to remember that group and corporate ADR have also rebounded considerably with both ahead of the 2019 benchmark. Further recovery in hotel demand from international source markets should take place with the elimination of all COVID-19 entry restrictions on Oct. 1.”