US hotel performance in May bodes well for the busy summer season

US hotels posted a positive performance in three key metrics for the month of May, and prospects look promising for the buy summer season. Data from STR show US hotel occupancy grew 0.9% in May-2019 to 68.7%, average daily rates (ADR) increased 1.6% to USD132.43 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) expanded 2.5% year-on-year to USD91.01.

“The industry sold 3 million more room nights than last May and continued the trend of monthly performance records with modest year-over-year growth,” says Jan Freitag, STR’s senior VP of lodging insights. “A sign of the times, the 0.9% lift in occupancy was the highest since Aug-2018, while the ADR and RevPAR growth figures were the second highest this year. While we did downgrade our forecast for 2019 as a whole, we are expecting solid performance for the summer months with US air travel bookings and vacation intentions on the incline.”

STR stated the industry has posted year-on-year RevPAR growth for 110 of the last 111 months. That performance is inching closer to the longest expansion cycle in the industry of 112 months from Dec-1991 to Mar-2001.

Offering a glimpse into the performance of the top 25 US markets, STR concluded Denver had the largest RevPAR increase of 7% to USD102.97, Chicago posted the highest increase in occupancy of 3.6% to 77.3% and ADR, which grew 3.3% to USD133.15. The Philadelphia-New Jersey region has the best ADR performance, with a rise of 5.6% to USD153.23.

At the bottom end of the scale, Seattle had the sharpest decline in RevPAR of 9.8% to USD122.59 as the city’s ADR fell 6.2% to USD161.65. San Diego reported the steepest drop in occupancy of 4.4% to 74.2%.

“Seattle, with supply up 6% from last May, is a good example of a major market that saw pressure on performance levels due to new inventory,” Freitag says. “Most of the other markets saw enough demand to absorb that new supply in May, and the Top 25 Markets posted 0.2% growth in occupancy in the aggregate. We continue to track these key markets and the limited-service segments having already seen the impact the new supply.”