HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — Canada’s hotel industry reported slightly lower performance levels from the month prior, but indexed comparisons with 2019 were better, according to STR’s November 2021 data.
Occupancy sat at 49.7 per cent (down 18.4 per cent), Average Daily Rate (ADR) was $138.52 (down 6.3 per cent) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) came in at $68.85 (down 23.6 per cent).
“Although levels were seasonally lower, Canada’s metrics inched closer to pre-pandemic figures,” says Laura Baxter, CoStar Group’s director of hospitality analytics for Canada. CoStar Group is the parent company of STR. “The RevPAR level was the closest the metric came to pre-pandemic performance this year. Room rates continued to show recovery momentum, with less of a seasonal drop off than we typically see. When looking at weekday versus weekend performance, November room rates exceeded 2019 levels for the first time this year, demonstrating further strength from the leisure segment. Weekend occupancy was also closer to pre-pandemic levels, down only six percentage points against the comparable time period in 2019. Accelerations in weekday performance also took place, signaling strengthening corporate demand.”
Baxter says group demand continued to rise in November, generating the highest number of room nights sold since the pandemic began, further cementing the return of this segment. “Given the low COVID-19 case counts in November, people were beginning to feel comfortable to meet in a group setting, with conferences and events starting to take place. Group demand also reached 50 per cent of volume that would be expected prior to the pandemic – the strongest performance of this segment since the pandemic hit.”
Among the provinces and territories, Ontario recorded the highest November occupancy level (53.6 per cent), which was 19.5 per cent below the pre-pandemic comparable.
Among the major markets, Vancouver saw the highest occupancy (56.4 per cent), which was a 23.2-per-cent decline from 2019.
The lowest occupancy among provinces was reported in New Brunswick (37 per cent), down 32.6 per cent against 2019. At the market level, the lowest occupancy was reported in Calgary (down 29.8 per cent to 39 per cent).
“Although progress is being made, the Omicron variant presents another challenge for Canada’s hotel industry and is a downside risk to the forecast in the near term,” Baxter says. “The federal government re-instated that all Canadians should avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada just a few months after lifting the advisory. Additionally, a negative PCR test for those entering Canada has also been re-introduced just weeks after the requirement was lifted for Canadian travellers who left the country for up to 72 hours. The added testing requirements and travel advisory will increase the burden of crossing the border and will likely have a negative impact on both inbound and outbound cross-border travel volumes.”
“On a positive note, the booster rollout program is being implemented quicker than originally planned. Once we see a decline in COVID cases, this should play in favour of a quick return to where hotel performance recovery left off in November,” Baxter adds.