Group Reservation Pace Helps Bolster 2014 Hotel Performance

NEW YORK—Hotels in major North American markets showcased their resiliency as they experienced positive growth in both rate and occupancy across most travel segments despite the global Ebola health risk, according to data from the November 2014 TravelClick North American Hospitality Review (NAHR). While leisure transient (individual) booking pace decreased slightly -1 percent, transient business increased 1.6 percent, indicating that the scare did not deter individual business travelers.

The positive momentum experienced earlier this year continues well into the final months of 2014, especially with new group reservations pace increasing by 10.5 percent over the past month.

“Despite global travel concerns over Ebola, the hotel sector continues to grow and we expect this trend to continue through the rest of 2014 and into 2015,” said John Hach, senior vice president, global product management at TravelClick. “Looking forward, TravelClick sees a real opportunity for capturing shorter term group business, which should help bolster overall average daily rate (ADR) performance throughout 2015.”

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For the next 12 months (November 2014–October 2015), overall committed occupancy is up 4.3 percent when compared to the same time last year. ADR is up 4.1 percent based on reservations currently on the books.

Transient bookings are up 3.6 percent year-over-year and ADR for this segment is up 5 percent. When broken down further, the transient leisure (discount, qualified, and wholesale) segment is showing occupancy gains of 3.2 percent and ADR gains of 5 percent. Transient business (negotiated and retail) segment occupancy is up 4.5 percent and ADR is up 4.9 percent. Group segment occupancy is ahead by 4.7 percent and ADR is up 2.1 percent, compared to the same time last year.

“As the holiday season rapidly approaches, the outlook is prosperous for hoteliers as most segments are experiencing upticks in performance,” Hach continued. “Group business is proving to be a strong and robust channel. This segment encountered the most highs and lows in 2014. We are very encouraged by the pace of group bookings and believe that hotels have a real opportunity to grow this channel throughout 2015.”