STR: U.S. hotel occupancy drops over Thanksgiving week

Hotels in Knoxville, Tenn., reported occupancy of 61.8 percent for the week. Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Kruck20

U.S. weekly hotel occupancy for the week of Nov. 22–29 fell to its lowest level since late May, according to the latest data from STR. Compared to the same week in 2019, occupancy was down 28.5 percent to 36.2 percent, a drop of more than 12 percent from the previous week.

Average daily rate reached $92.49, down 17.8 percent from last year, while revenue per available room for the week was $33.49, down 41.2 percent.

Transportation Security Administration checkpoint counts increased sharply with more than 6 million passengers during both the week before and of Thanksgiving. However, that increased air travel volume did not translate to more hotel rooms sold as weekly demand (13.2 million) and occupancy fell to their lowest levels since late May. This would indicate that a bulk of travelers opted to stay with family during the holiday.  

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Top Markets

Among all markets in the country, the Florida Keys recorded the week’s highest occupancy level (77.8 percent) followed by Knoxville, Tenn. (61.8 percent); McAllen/Brownsville, Texas (54.5 percent); and Daytona Beach, Fla. (53.2 percent).

Among the top 25 markets, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. (49.7 percent) saw the highest occupancy level.

Top 25 markets with the lowest occupancy levels for the week included Minneapolis/St. Paul/Wisconsin (22 percent) and Oahu Island, Hawaii (22.7 percent).

Aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed lower occupancy (34.9 percent) but higher ADR (US$95.69) than all other markets.