Va. hotel revenues increased by 178% in May
Lodging industry says "long road ahead" for recovery, however
Virginia hotel revenues for May 2021 increased by 178% compared with May 2020, according to data released Tuesday by STR Inc., a CoStar Group division that provides market data on the U.S. hospitality industry.
During the same period, rooms sold went up by 96%. The average daily rate (ADR) paid for hotel rooms rose 42% from May 2020 to $102.83, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) rose to $59.62, a 66.6% increase from May 2020. However, statewide hotel revenue still lagged behind May 2019 levels by 31%, the report states, although revenue was up by 4% in Hampton Roads.
“The hotel industry continues to recover in the commonwealth as well as in Hampton Roads,” Professor Vinod Agarwal of Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy said in a statement. “With increasing vaccinations, declining COVID-19 infections, rising consumer confidence, pent-up demand, and easing restrictions we have seen significant improvement in the performance of the hotel industry over the 2020 levels and we expect the industry to continue its recovery each month through the end of 2021.”
Nevertheless, Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association President Eric Terry says, “While these numbers seem encouraging, there is more to this story. Comparing May 2020 revenues, at the height of the pandemic, sets an extremely low threshold. A better indicator may be to look at occupancy rates in 2019 where we had a 61% statewide average. In 2020, occupancy rates were cut in half. In some places around the state we’re still sitting at 30% occupancy rates, even with restrictions beginning to be lifted. The recovery for the industry is a long road ahead — one peak travel month does not make a recovery of an industry that lost $14 billion and 90,000 jobs last year. We’re glad to see revenues rising for our hotels, but this data should be put in the context of 2020 being the worst year in recent history for many of our members.”
Hotel revenues and rooms sold increased in Virginia’s markets during May 2021, compared with May 2020, as the pandemic shutdown continued in the commonwealth. In Northern Virginia, which has seen a slower bounce back than other regions, hotel revenue increased by 168% year-to-year in May. The Charlottesville market saw a 373% increase; 845% in Williamsburg; 235% in Virginia Beach; 168% in Norfolk/Portsmouth; 95% in Chesapeake/Suffolk; and 94% in Newport News/Hampton. The number of rooms sold also increased in May, with a 349% boost in Williamsburg; 114% in Northern Virginia; 164% in Charlottesville; and 79% in the entire Hampton Roads market.