STR: Christmas week brings lowest hotel occupancy since May

Hotel occupancy in Boston reached 23.5 percent during the week of Christmas. Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Getty Images via Newscred (Boston, Massachusetts)

As December came to an end, U.S. hotel occupancy dropped despite an increase in air travel, according to the latest data from STR.

For the week of Dec. 13-19, hotel occupancy reached 36.8 percent, down 26.4 percent from the comparable week in 2019. Average daily rate for the week was $85.50, down 21.9 percent, while revenue per available room was $31.45, down 42.5 percent. 

STR noted the industry also surpassed 1 billion unsold roomnights for the first time on record.

By the following week, U.S. weekly hotel occupancy fell to its lowest level since early May. From Dec. 20-26, occupancy dropped to 32.5 percent, down 33 percent from 2019, while RevPAR decreased to $29.94, down 52.3 percent.

ADR, however, improved to $92.08, but was still down 28.8 percent from the previous year. 

Top Markets

Aggregate data for the top 25 markets for the week of Dec. 13-19 showed lower occupancy (34.9 percent) but higher ADR ($90) than all other markets. Among the top 25 markets, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. (45.4 percent) saw the highest occupancy level. The top markets with the lowest occupancy levels for the week included Oahu Island, Hawaii (21.6 percent), and Minneapolis/St. Paul/Wisconsin  (23.9 percent).

For the following week, the markets showed identical occupancy (32.5 percent) to the nationwide average, but higher ADR ($94.36) than all other markets. Among the top 25 markets, Miami/Hialeah, Fla. (47.5 percent) saw the highest occupancy level. Top 25 markets with the lowest occupancy levels for the week included Minneapolis/St. Paul/Wisconsin (22.3 percent), and Boston (23.5 percent).