Global hotel rates climb in February

Friday, 25 March 2011 03:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Global hotel rates climbed in February 2011, according to data released on Wednesday by Pegasus Solutions.

Business travel rates rose a remarkable +7% over February 2010, and rates paid by leisure travelers for hotel rooms increased +3.6% over the same period.

Global reservations through the mostly leisure alternative distribution systems (ADS), or online channels, declined from January’s levels due to a variety of factors including regional unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

However, bookings growth still remained above February 2010 by +1.1% as the average daily rate (ADR) set a new growth record for North America at +2.9%, rising for the rest of the world to an almost +5% increase over last year.

“Despite the challenges unfolding at a regional level in the Middle East and North Africa, hoteliers were still able to raise rates enough in February to achieve average rate growth worldwide and capture more bookings than last year,” said Mike Kistner, Chief Executive Officer of Pegasus Solutions.

“Consumers are not only traveling, but they are also willing to spend more. Additionally, the corporate market is booking more groups and meetings business from corporations of all sizes as February bookings, rate and revenue growth was coupled with increases in length of stay and booking lead time.”

February global distribution system (GDS) bookings, representing the mostly corporate market, grew a substantial +23.5%, driving revenue up +36.8% over 2010. Both length of stay and booking lead time for this segment also expanded. Forward-looking data shows this segment displaying average monthly growth of more than +20% through July, with accompanying rate, length of stay and booking lead time increases.

While the full impact of the Japan earthquake will be analyzed in a special edition of The Pegasus View, forward-looking data for February’s report displays a continued leisure travel recovery. Bookings made thus far through online channels suggest growth rates strong enough to regain lost momentum during the upcoming spring and summer travel periods.

Asia Pacific hotels enjoy growth

According to data compiled by STR Global, hotels in the Asia Pacific region experienced increases in all three key performance metrics during February 2011 when reported in U.S. dollars.

In year-on-year measurements, the Asia Pacific region’s occupancy rose 3.3% to 63.5%, ADR increased 13.9% to US$147.23, and RevPAR jumped 17.7% to US$93.49.

“The devastating natural disasters and the tragic losses of life and livelihoods currently dominate the region,” said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “In local currency, Australia’s hotels reported just a 0.1% RevPAR increase for February and a 1.5% increase for the first two months 2011. New Zealand reported a 2.4% RevPAR increase for the month and 0.8% year-to-date. Both countries saw drops in occupancy with slight average rate growth for the month and year-to-date. Japan, prior the tragic events in March, reported a 6.8% RevPAR increase for February and a 4.8% increase for the first two months this year, driven by improvements in occupancy and average rate.”

Year-on-year comparison highlights from key market performers for February 2011 in local currency:

Beijing, China, experienced the largest occupancy increase, rising 13.8% to 45.8%, followed by Shanghai, China, with an 11.3% increase to 40%.

Seoul, South Korea, fell 4.9% in occupancy to 72.4%, reporting the largest decrease in that metric.

Hong Kong, China, achieved the largest ADR increase, rising 23.5% to HK$1686.08.

New Delhi, India, posted the only ADR decrease, falling 1.2% to UNR10073.64.

Four markets achieved RevPAR increases of more than 25%: Hong Kong (+29.5% to HK$1312.70); Shanghai (+26.5% to CNY302.75); Jakarta, Indonesia (+26.4% to IDR544064.03); and Beijing (+26.0% to CNY269.98).

Melbourne, Australia, fell 2.1% in RevPAR to A$135.74, reporting the largest decrease in that metric.