Smith Travel Research (STR) issued its latest research on hotel room occupancy and rates and, according to the findings, bookings and rates are clearly on the rise.
“Overall, we’re suggesting that group demand is back,” said Jan Freitag, senior vice president of STR. “At least to the level of 2011 and maybe even a little stronger.”
The latest “STR Monthly Segmentation Review,” which showed results on occupancy, average daily room rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) for March and for the first quarter of the year, indicates several signs of health in the industry.
“For the U.S. overall, transient room rates are going to increase around 4.5 percent this year and around 5 percent next year,” Freitag said. “The group rate increase in 2012 will be about 3 percent and a little higher for 2013.”
Group rates always lag transient a bit, he explained, as they are locked in ahead of time.
Still, hotels are definitely on the right side of the group business pendulum now, Freitag said.
“Group rates will change throughout this year, and as meeting planners negotiate for 2013 and 2014, we expect a continued seller’s market,” he predicted, “with continued increases in room rate for the forseeable future.”