The U.S. hotel industry posted year-over-year declines in occupancy and revenue per available room during September, but experienced a gain in average daily rate, according to data from STR.
In year-over-year measurements, the industry's ADR rose 3.0 percent in September to $107.31 (from $104.14 during September 2007). Occupancy in September fell 5.9 percent from September 2007 to 60.6 percent from 64.5 percent. RevPAR for the month declined 3.1 percent to $65.08 from $67.13.
For the third quarter, overall U.S. hotel numbers (compared with third quarter of 2007) included a 3.7-percent drop in occupancy to 65.8 percent from 68.4 percent, a 2.7-percent rise in ADR to $106.93 from $104.08, and a 1.1-percent decline in RevPAR to $70.40 from $71.19. Top 25 markets with the largest third-quarter RevPAR gains over the third quarter of 2007 were New Orleans (+20.2 percent), Denver (+12.3 percent), Houston (+11.8 percent), New York (+8.4 percent), San Francisco (+7.8 percent) and Dallas (+6.4 percent).
"The U.S. lodging industry faced a challenging third quarter. RevPAR growth moved into negative territory for the first time since second quarter 1993-ending a span of 5 years with positive quarterly RevPAR increases," said Bobby Bowers, STR's senior vice president of operations. "We expect a continued difficult operating environment in the final quarter of 2008. Room supply growth will continue while demand growth (roomnights sold) likely will remain soft in many markets, driven by slowing economic growth."
For the year-to-date through September, occupancy stood at 62.9 percent-a 3.0-percent decrease from year-to-date September 2007. September year-to-date ADR was up 3.7 percent to $107.41 (from $103.59), and RevPAR rose 0.6 percent to $67.58 from $67.21 through the first nine months of 2007. September YTD industry room supply increased 2.5 percent while demand (room nights sold) declined 0.6 percent, resulting in the 3.0 percent occupancy decline. Room revenue increased 3.1 percent in the first nine months of 2008 to $84 billion.
During September 2008, the luxury segment experienced a 7.1-percent decline in occupancy and a 6.0-percent drop in RevPAR from the previous September. The segment's year-over-year ADR increased 1.1 percent to $287.21. Year to date through September, the luxury segment saw a 2.9-percent drop in occupancy and a 0.8-percent dip in RevPAR from the same period in 2007. ADR for the same period was up 2.1 percent. In other year-to-date highlights: urban properties posted a 4.2-percent increase in RevPAR and a 5.5-percent rise in ADR; New Orleans experienced a 16.3-percent jump in RevPAR, while San Francisco saw a 9.7-percent increase in the same category; and Phoenix experienced the biggest drop in occupancy among Top 25 markets with a year-over-year decline of 9.6 percent.
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For more than 20 years, Smith Travel Research has been the recognized leader for lodging industry benchmarking and research. Smith Travel Research and STR Global offer monthly, weekly, and daily STAR benchmarking reports to more than 36,000 hotel clients, representing nearly 5 million rooms worldwide. STR is headquartered in Hendersonville, Tenn., and STR Global is based in London. For more information, visit www.smithtravelresearch.com or www.strglobal.com.