by Michael J. Shapiro | March 27, 2018
North American hotel business continues its slow but steady growth for the first quarter, according to new data from TravelClick's March 2018 North American Hospitality Review. For the first quarter, hoteliers are seeing a 1.7 percent increase in bookings across all segments, and a 0.7 percent uptick in average daily rate. 
Transient business is much stronger than group: Bookings in Q1 are up 2.2 percent in that segment, and transient leisure has increased by 2.6 percent. Transient-travel revenue per available room is up by a solid 3.3 percent. 
"With the spring travel season kicking off, the improved month-over-month performance across business and leisure transient bookings is very encouraging news for hoteliers," said John Hach, senior industry analyst, TravelClick. "Additionally, as we head into the second quarter of 2018, the data shows that both rates and occupancy are continuing to hold steady for now."
In the report's first-quarter outlook -- which looks at historical booking data for the first two months of the year, combined with predictive data for March -- group occupancy is up by half a percentage point, and group ADR is just slightly positive, at 0.1 percent. RevPAR is up by 0.6 percent. Predictive data for the second quarter, based on sales commitments, is trending much higher -- with a 1.7 percent increase in committed group occupancy and a 3.3 percent rise in group ADR. That actually exceeds the overall outlook for the quarter, which is up by 1.5 percent in committed occupancy and 2.2 percent in ADR.
Group business isn't so robust when looking at the company's 12-month outlook, which examines committed business and reservations from March through next February. Group bookings are up just slightly, by 0.4 percent, while the ADR outlook is predicted to rise by a more solid 1.3 percent than at this same point last year. Meanwhile, transient bookings for the next 12 months are up 3.4 percent year-over-year, and transient ADR is up by 2.3 percent.
The report takes into account hotel business booked by March 1, 2018, in 25 major North American markets, for stays from March 2018 through February 2019.