New Group Business Continues Positive Trend into 2016

NEW YORK—Heading deeper into 2016, properties in major North American markets are continuing to experience strong increases in bookings, with 20 of the top 25 (80 percent) markets showing committed occupancy growth compared to last month. However, new business reservation pace is continuing to decelerate, according to new data from TravelClick’s February 2016 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR).

“While the financial markets remain highly volatile, it’s encouraging to see that the North American hotel market continues to grow at a steady pace,” said John Hach, TravelClick’s senior industry analyst. “The group and transient markets are proving to be relatively strong and resilient, but companies are closely managing corporate travel expenses. This will continue well into the first quarter of 2016.”

For the next 12 months (February 2016 – January 2017), transient bookings are up 1.1 percent year-over-year, and ADR for this segment is up 2.9 percent. When broken down further, the transient leisure (discount, qualified and wholesale) segment is showing occupancy gains of 2.7 percent, with ADR gains of 2.8 percent. The transient business (negotiated and retail) segment is down -0.9 percent, but ADR is up 3.4 percent. Lastly, group bookings are up 4.4 percent in committed room nights over the same time last year, and ADR is up 5.3 percent.

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“It’s important to note that transient leisure revenue per available room (RevPAR) is experiencing healthy growth of 7.4 percent in Q1 2016,” added Hach. “This is an especially timely development as we move into Q2 2016, as it’s not so much a shift in power between the transient and group sectors but more of an opportunity for hoteliers to devote resources to the transient leisure channel to maximize current year RevPAR objectives.”

The February NAHR looks at group sales commitments and individual reservations in the 25 major North American markets for hotel stays that are booked by Feb. 1, 2016, from the period of February 2016 to January 2017.