by Michael J. Shapiro | June 26, 2013
Demand growth for groups in U.S. hotels during May fell by 3.4 percent year-over-year, according to hotel data provider STR, but transient business surged enough to keep performance growth positive  overall. Transient demand was up by 4.3 percent for the month, as were overall occupancy (up 1.1 percent), average daily rate (a 3.6 percent increase) and revenue per available room (a 4.7 percent rise). "Though group business remains elusive," said STR COO Brad Garner, "we remain optimistic that group demand can provide life to industry performance moving forward." Houston and Oahu Island, Hawaii, reported the largest average daily rate hikes for the month, each increasing by 12.1 percent over last May's rates. Five markets reported double-digit RevPAR increases: Houston; Dallas; Detroit; San Francisco/San Mateo; and Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif. Mexico City led all major markets in the Americas for the month of May with a 9.7 percent year-over-year increase in average daily rate (to US$133.63), according to STR Global. The region overall reported a 3.5 percent rise in ADR, to US$111.69, along with a 1.2 percent growth in occupancy and a 4.7 percent increase in RevPAR. Among the region's largest markets, Sao Paulo, Brazil, experienced the largest occupancy increase (+6.1 percent), and San Francisco posted the largest RevPAR rise (+11.4 percent). Montreal and Mexico City followed, with RevPAR gains of 9.3 percent and 9.0 percent, respectively.