STR: U.S. occupancy up over Labor Day weekend

Thanks to the long Labor Day weekend, U.S. hotel occupancy increased slightly after two consecutive weeks of decline, according to the latest data from STR.

For the week of Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, occupancy was 49.4 percent, down 18.9 percent from the comparable week in 2019 but up compared to the previous week’s 48.2 percent and 48.8 percent for the week of Aug. 16-22.

Average daily rate reached $100.97, down 17.1 percent from 2019, while revenue per available room reached $49.87, down 32.8 percent year over year.

Hotel demand grew to 18 million roomnights sold, up 500,000 week over week. On Saturday, occupancy came in at 69 percent, just 2.6 percent less than the comparable Saturday in 2019, and leisure markets that have showed the highest summer occupancy levels reported strong increases from the previous weekend.  

Top Markets

At the same time, the markets with the highest occupancy for the week were not leisure destinations. Rather, the high occupancy markets were those housing displaced residents from Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires. 

Aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed lower occupancy (44.3 percent), but higher ADR ($101.82) than all other markets.

Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Va., was the only one of those major markets to reach a 60 percent occupancy level (60.6 percent).

Five additional markets reached or surpassed 50 percent occupancy: Houston (57.8 percent), Los Angeles/Long Beach (55.3 percent); San Diego (54.6 percent), New Orleans (51.7 percent) and Atlanta (50.2 percent).

Houston was the only market to report a year-over-year increase in occupancy (up 13.5 percent), which is attributable to evacuations and displaced residents due to Hurricane Laura.

Markets with the lowest occupancy levels for the week included Oahu Island, Hawaii (24.4 percent), and Orlando (30.9 percent).