Finance & DevelopmentFinanceGroup Booking Pace Provides Opportunities

Group Booking Pace Provides Opportunities

NEW YORK—Hoteliers in major North American markets can look forward to an improved group booking pace beginning at the end of 2016 and continuing into 2017, demonstrating its value in capturing incremental business as hoteliers prepare for the New Year. At the same time, hoteliers are experiencing healthy increases in both transient leisure (individual reservations that are made by leisure travelers) and group bookings in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, according to new data from TravelClick’s September 2016 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR).

“The current hotel environment is requiring a renewed need to focus on competing for new business as early as possible,” said John Hach, TravelClick’s senior industry analyst. “The group segment is showing signs of longer-term incremental opportunity, especially as we look out into the second quarter of 2017.”

For the next 12 months (September 2016—August 2017), transient bookings are up 2.1 percent year-over-year, and ADR for this segment is up 1.8 percent. When broken down further, the transient leisure (discount, qualified, and wholesale) segment is showing occupancy gains of 3.7 percent, with ADR gains of 2.3 percent. The transient business (negotiated and retail) segment is down -1.5 percent, but ADR is up 2.0 percent. Lastly, group bookings are up 4.4 percent in committed room nights over the same time last year, and ADR is up 3.0 percent.

“There is increasing need for hoteliers to engage with the group channel as an opportunistic resource for attaining upcoming revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth,” added Hach. “Doing so reduces hoteliers’ dependency on shorter-term reservations that are becoming more and more competitive to covert, especially given loyalty program membership discounts.”