by Michael J. Shapiro | October 11, 2016

Hoteliers are seeing solid increases in group bookings for the third and fourth quarters of 2016 and into next year, according to TravelClick's September 2016 North American Hospitality Review. The group segment shows long-term signs of growth, even as far ahead as the second quarter of 2017, according to TravelClick. The transient leisure segment also is showing healthy increases.

For the next 12 months, group bookings are up 4.4 percent year-over-year in terms of committed room nights, with a growth in average daily rate of 3 percent. That's substantially higher than the overall 2.1 percent growth in bookings and 1.8 percent hike in rate. Bookings in the business transient segment are actually down by 1.5 percent.

"There is increasing need for hoteliers to engage with the group channel as an opportunistic resource for attaining upcoming revenue-per-available-room growth," said John Hach, TravelClick's senior industry analyst. 

For the third quarter this year, reserved group occupancy is up 2.7 percent year-over-year, with a solid 4.4 percent increase in average daily rate. The fourth-quarter committed group occupancy is likewise up by 2.7 percent over the same time last year, with an uptick of 1.2 percent in ADR.

The review takes into account group sales commitments and individual reservations in the 25 major North American markets for stays booked by Sept. 1 for stays from Sept. 2016 through Aug. 2017.