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5 things to know: 22 December 2010
December 22 2010
  • STR Global reports November monthly results.
  • Heathrow hotel rates rise as snow falls.
  • U.S. population growth slows.
  • GDS booking volume grows 30.6% in November.
  • reports rate winners and losers.

Hotels the world over saw steady performance increases on average, according to the most recent November monthly results from STR Global.

Americas: The region’s occupancy rose 8.8% to 53.9%, average daily rate went up 2.7% to US$98.80, and revenue per available room increased 11.7% to US$53.30.

Among the key markets, Montreal, Canada, reported the largest occupancy increase, rising 15.1% to 63.6%, followed by Sao Paulo, Brazil (+14.3% to 75.9%), and Chicago, Illinois (+13.9% to 62.5%). San Juan, Puerto Rico, ended the month virtually flat with a 0.3% decrease in occupancy to 67.3%.

Asia/Pacific: In year-over-year measurements, the Asia/Pacific region’s occupancy rose 2.8% to 70%, ADR increased 12.0% to US$142.47, and RevPAR jumped 15.2% to US$99.70.

Europe: The European hotel industry posted mostly positive results in year-over-year metrics when reported in U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds for November 2010, according to data compiled by STR Global. 

Year-over-year November 2010 figures for Europe (U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds):
  Europe % change
Occupancy 64.1% +6.4%
ADR (U.S. dollars) $132.02 -4.5%
ADR (euros) €100.08 +8.5%
ADR (British pounds) £84.72 +1.1%
RevPAR (U.S. dollars) $84.58 +1.6%
RevPAR (euros)  €64.12 +15.4%
RevPAR (British pounds) £54.28 +7.6%
Source: STR Global

Middle East/Africa: The region’s occupancy ended the month with a 2.4% increase to 69.8%, ADR rose 3.1% to US$182.05, and RevPAR went up 5.5% to US$127.14.

The busy holiday travel weekend was sent into a tail spin with a winter storm that caused delays and cancelations throughout Europe at airports and train stations.

London’s Heathrow Airport, which expected to see about a million passengers pass through during the week before Christmas according to BBC, decreased departures to a third of total flights until Wednesday morning. Among them, British Airways cancelled all short-haul departures. 

The flight chaos seems to have had a positive impact on Heathrow hotel rates, according to data from STR Global.

In daily performance metrics, average daily rates on 18-20 December were the year’s highest for the Heathrow Airport submarket in British pounds, according to Konstanze Auernheimer, director of marketing & analysis for STR Global. On Saturday, they rose to £97 (US$149.25), bumped up higher to £109.68 (US$168.76) on Sunday, and hit a year-high Monday at £118.92 (US$183).

Occupancy, however, was actually down in year-on-year comparisons. For instance, occupancy on Monday, 20 December was 91.7%, compared to 98.2% in 2009 (a 6.7% decrease). 

Heathrow airport RevPAR for December week-to-date is up 78.6% as of 20 December.

The United States population increased 9.7% from 2000 to 2010, down from the 13.2% growth rate of the previous decade and the slowest 10-year growth rate since 1930-40, according to the Census Bureau. Nevada again had the highest growth rate (35%) among states but also the biggest slowdown (31 percentage points less than in 1990-2000). Population declined in Michigan (-0.6%) and Puerto Rico (-2.2%). The District of Columbia had the largest rise in growth rate (10.9 percentage points, going from -5.7% to 5.2% growth); only eight states grew faster than in the prior decade.

Slower population growth might mean less demand for many types of construction nationally. However, the Architecture Billings Index, a measure of the number of architecture firms that report higher or lower billings compared with the prior month, moved to its highest level in three years in November, 52.0, the American Institute of Architects announced Friday. (A reading of 50 indicates the number of respondents with higher billings equals the number with lower billings.)

Both the corporate and leisure travel sectors set 2010 growth records over 2009 in November, according to new data released in The Pegasus View. The report, based on billions of global transactions processed during the month by Pegasus Solutions, shows booking volumes through the mostly business global distribution systems climbed 30.6%. Additionally, revenue for the mostly leisure alternative distribution systems reached a year-high of 17.3% over 2009.

The business travel market surged in November after a brief slowdown in October, according to the report. With the 30.6% year-on-year increase in booking volumes came a stable ADR that remained at the 7.4% record growth rate achieved in August and September. Forward-looking data suggested the trend in booking growth would continue through March 2011, accompanied by an average growth in ADR of 10% and a 5% increase in length of stay.

Richmond, Virginia, experienced the biggest price drop (-4%) of all North American markets, according to’s Hotel Rate Report. Rounding out the rest of the top five were: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (-3%); West Palm Beach, Florida (-2%); Colorado Springs, Colorado (-2%); and Salt Lake City, Utah (-2%).

On the other end of the spectrum, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island, reported the highest increase in prices (26%). The market was followed by Niagara Falls, Ontario (24%); Toronto, Ontario (22%); Miami, Florida (22%); and Charleston, South Carolina (21%).

Compiled by Patrick Mayock.

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