U.S. hotel occupancy continues slow climb

Tampa skyline
The Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., market saw occupancy of 44 percent during the week of May 24-30, according to STR. Photo credit: Pixabay

STR released U.S. hotel performance results for the week ending May 30, and the data showed another small rise from previous weeks. Year-over-year declines remained significant although not as severe as the levels recorded previously.

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May 24-30, 2020, (percentage change from comparable week in 2019):

  • Occupancy: 36.6 percent (-43.2 percent)
  • Average daily rate: US$82.94 (-33.3 percent)
  • Revenue per available room: US$30.34 (-62.1 percent)

Previous weekly U.S. weekly occupancy levels: 

  • 17-23 May 2020: 35.4 percent
  • 10-16 May 2020: 32.4 percent
  • 3-9 May 2020: 30.4 percent
  • 26 April - 2 May 2020: 28.9 percent
  • 19-25 April 2020: 26.2 percent
  • 12-18 April 2020: 24.4 percent 
  • 5-11 April 2020: 22 percent

“A seventh consecutive week of higher demand and occupancy was highlighted by three submarkets actually showing positive year-over-year occupancy comparisons for the weekend,” said Jan Freitag, STR’s senior VP of lodging insights. “Two of those areas, Titusville/Cocoa Beach and Melbourne/Palm Bay [in Florida], likely received a boosted from the SpaceX launch activities on Saturday. The third submarket, Corpus Christi, [Texas,] further supports previous analysis that there is demand ready to return, but for now, it is more visible from leisure sources and in destinations that are set up well for drive-to business.

“Because the situation intensified more toward the end of the week, and because there has not been a great deal of demand in downtown areas because of the pandemic, there wasn’t a noticeable impact from protests and the unrest occurring in major cities. That is something to monitor in our next dataset and perhaps beyond depending on how the situation plays out.”

Aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed larger year-over-year declines than the national averages: occupancy (-51.1 percent to 33.9 percent), ADR (-41.5 percent to US$86.82) and RevPAR (-71.4 percent to US$29.48).

Six of the top 25 markets saw occupancy levels above 40 percent: New York City (47.6 percent); Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Va., (44.2 percent); Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., (44 percent); Phoenix (42.5 percent); Atlanta (40.7 percent); and Detroit (40.4 percent).

Markets with the lowest occupancy levels for the week included Oahu Island, Hawaii (12.5 percent); Boston (22.6 percent); and Orlando (24.5 percent).