Group Travel Begins to Bounce Back
by Michael J. ShapiroJanuary 16, 2013
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While group travel demand flattened in the latter part of 2012, it now appears to be on the rise once again, according to the December 2012 TravelClick North American Hospitality Review. Although the previous month's report showed a 0.1 percent decrease in group demand, the latest figures show committed group travel for the fourth quarter of 2012 through the third quarter of 2013 to be up 2.2 percent, year over year. "It appears the decline in group [demand] was temporary," said Tim Hart, executive vice president of enterprise research and development for TravelClick. "However, we expect that some hoteliers may be incentivizing group bookings by keeping average daily rate relatively flat." Group occupancy was particularly strong in December, up 9.9 percent over last year. Group average daily rate for the month increased 3.5 percent. For all segments over the next 12 months, committed occupancy is up 3.9 percent year-over-year, while average daily rate is up 4.6 percent and revenue per available room is standing at a 12.8 percent increase. Those numbers are driven primarily by transient travel bookings.