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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Down 13.6% Compared to Same Week in 2019

Note: The year-over-year occupancy comparisons are easy, since occupancy declined sharply at the onset of the pandemic.

The comparison to 2019 was difficult this week due to the timing of Labor Day.  Last week the occupancy rate was unchanged year-over-year.  If we average the last two weeks, occupancy is down about 7% compared to the same two weeks in 2019.

U.S. hotel performance fell slightly from the previous week, according to STR‘s latest data through September 11.

September 5-11, 2021 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019*):

• Occupancy: 60.0% (-13.6%)
• Average daily rate (ADR): $130.82 (-1.4%)
• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): $78.46 (-14.8%)

Despite the week-over-week dip, performance levels were solid on an absolute basis considering it was the week of Labor Day as well as Rosh Hashanah from Monday through Wednesday. Neither of those holidays were a factor in the corresponding week two years ago, thus creating steeper declines in comparison with 2019.
emphasis added
The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

Click on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2021, black is 2020, blue is the median, dashed purple is 2019, and dashed light blue is for 2009 (the worst year on record for hotels prior to 2020).

Note: Y-axis doesn’t start at zero to better show the seasonal change.
With solid leisure travel, the Summer months had decent occupancy – but it is uncertain what will happen in the Fall with business travel – usually weekly occupancy increases to around 70% in the weeks following Labor Day due to renewed business travel.

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