Finance & DevelopmentMarket ReportsGroup Travel Growth Flattens

Group Travel Growth Flattens

NEW YORK—After a large comeback in 2011 and continued growth through the first half of 2012, group room sales and ADR are leveling off, according to data from the November 2012 TravelClick North American Hospitality Review (NAHR). When looking at Q4 2012 through Q3 2013, committed occupancy for the group segment, blocks of hotel rooms reserved for events and conventions, is flat (down 0.1 percent) and Average Daily Rate (ADR) is up a mere 1.6 percent.

“After 18 months of solid gains, the group segment is beginning to level off,” said Tim Hart, executive vice president, enterprise research and development, TravelClick. “When looking at group for the fourth quarter and the subsequent three quarters, this is the first time that committed room nights are showing a decline. We will be monitoring this closely to see if business and individuals are ‘pausing’ before making large group commitments until after the New Year.”

12 Month Outlook (November 2012 through October 2013)

Committed occupancy, across all segments, for November 2012 through October 2013 is up 1.6 percent compared to a year ago and ADR is up 3.4 percent, compared to the same time period last year. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) is up 6.7 percent.

The transient segment, individual business and leisure travelers, is the driving force behind the rise in occupancy and ADR. Committed occupancy for this segment is up 4.1 percent and ADR is up 4.3 percent. When broken down further, committed occupancy for leisure travel is up 4.7 percent and business travel is up 2.9 percent, respectively. As for ADR, business and leisure are up 4.4 and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Fourth Quarter Outlook (November 2012 – December 2012)

Committed occupancy across all segments is up 3.0 percent, supported by strong gains in transient segment demand, which is up 4.3 percent with group travel up 1.2 percent. Overall, ADR for the fourth quarter is up 2.9 percent over the same time last year, with increase driven by transient, up 3.9 percent, and group is only up slightly to 0.7 percent. When broken down further, business and leisure are up 3.8 and 4.1 percent, respectively.

“The strength in the transient segment demand and ADR for the last two months of the year is good news for hoteliers as it balances the slow growth we are seeing in the group segment. To close out the year strong and get a good start to 2013, hoteliers should focus on sustaining transient growth and growing the 2013 group base.”

The November NAHR looks at group sales commitments and individual reservations in the 25 major North American markets for hotel stays that are booked by November 4, 2012 for the period of November 2012 to October 2013.