Hotels saw 66% revenue drop in late May compared to 2019
ODU's Dragas Center says travel industry is seeing slow rebound from pandemic
Suffering the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Virginia hotels saw revenues drop 66% for the last week in May compared to the same time a year ago, according to findings released Wednesday by Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy. Rooms sold were also down by 50% and the average daily rate for paid hotel rooms dropped 31%, to $75.41, compared to late May 2019.
“We should brace ourselves for a continued slow rebound as the nation and the commonwealth largely reopens from COVID-19,” Dragas Center Professor Vinod Agarwal said in a statement. “It will take time for business and leisure travelers to fill rooms again.”
Hendersonville, Tennessee-based hospitality data company STR sends data to the Dragas Center each week to analyze.
The data is comprehensive of all major markets in Virginia. Revenues fell 79% in Northern Virginia, 73% in Charlottesville and 58% in Hampton Roads, as compared to the last week of May in 2019. In the Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville markets, rooms sold dropped by more than 50%. Williamsburg has been hardest hit. Hotel revenues there fell 87%, rooms sold dropped 75% and occupancy declined by 74%. The city also led in declining room revenues and rooms sold.
However, six of the top 25 U.S. markets (according to STR), which includes Norfolk and Virginia Beach, had occupancy levels above 40% the same week that Virginia Beach reopened for recreational activity. Others included New York City; Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida, Phoenix; Atlanta; and Detroit. The lowest occupancy levels were in Oahu Island, Hawaii; Boston; and Orlando, Florida. The last week in May 2020 ended with a 36.6% occupancy rate average, while for the year of 2019, the average occupancy rate was 66.1%.
“A seventh consecutive week of higher demand and occupancy was highlighted by three submarkets actually showing positive year-over-year occupancy comparisons for the weekend,” Jan Freitag, STR’s senior vice president of lodging insights, said in a statement. “Two of those areas, Titusville/Cocoa Beach and Melbourne/Palm Bay, likely received a boosted from the SpaceX launch activities on Saturday. The third submarket, Corpus Christi, further supports previous analysis that there is demand ready to return, but for now, it is more visible from leisure sources and in destinations that are set up well for drive-to business.”