HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — In order to provide up-to-date information and analysis, STR has launched a weekly webinar series focused on hotel performance data for the U.S. and Canada amid the broadening impacts of COVID-19.

Each webinar will highlight the most-recently processed week of hotel performance data, covering national numbers, as well as key markets showing the most significant performance fluctuations.

Hosted by Jan Freitag, STR’s SVP of Lodging Insights, these webinars will take place at 3 p.m. ET each Thursday, with a recording of each made available for those unable to join live. Those interested can register for upcoming webinars here.

During the most recent webinar, which took place March 19, Freitag shared a chart comparing occupancy declines in the U.S., China and Italy. Occupancies had deteriorated at a very steep rate in both China and Italy at the peak of shutdowns, with China now showing occupancy growth.

While the beginning of a rebound in China is reassuring, Freitag expressed concern that hotel occupancies haven’t dropped more swiftly in North America. “It’s of course good to see occupancies aren’t deteriorating as quickly. But, fuller hotels mean a lot of people did not heed the strong suggestion from the CDC and WHO to stay home and practice social distancing. I’m afraid this implies that the U.S. has a much longer recovery cycle ahead of us [than that seen in China].”

Looking at results for the week ending March 14, Canadian hotels saw a steep decline in RevPAR, falling 26.4 per cent. Looking at Canada’s major cities, Montreal saw the steepest declines for the week with RevPAR falling 33.4 per cent. Vancouver followed with a decline of 30.9 per cent, Toronto was down 28.6 per cent, Calgary was down 28.1 per cent and Edmonton saw a decline of 26.4 per cent. Ottawa was an outlier, with RevPAR dropping only 4.2 per cent.

The majority of these markets were operating below 50-per-cent occupancy for the week, with the exception of Ottawa and Vancouver, which were at 55-per-cent and 54.3-per-cent occupancy respectively. Calgary had the lowest occupancy at 41.6 per cent.

Freitag also provided insight on how the various hotel tiers were fairing. “Larger, higher-end properties — traditionally with more meeting space and catering to groups — saw significant deterioration,” he explained.

RevPAR for the week was down 34.2 per cent for luxury properties and 31.3 per cent for upper-upscale hotels. By comparison, RevPAR for upscale hotels was down 22.4 per cent, 24.9 per cent for upper-midscale hotels and 18.5 per cent for midscale hotels.

“It’s not a pretty picture — and it will get worse,” Freitag warned in closing. “We can’t lose faith that it will get better, which it will. The industry always rebounds, but we have to look the brutal reality of continued double-digit RevPAR declines going forward.”


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