Although group bookings were down 3.8 percent in the second quarter, average daily rates were up 1.6 percent.
Across major North American markets, hotel occupancy is "stagnant," according to hotel consultancy TravelClick, which last week published the results of its May 2019 North American Hospitality Review, showing for the second quarter of 2019 a 2.2 percent decline in occupancy across all travel segments and a 3.8 percent decline in occupancy for the group travel segment.
But there's a saving grace: Although occupancy is down, TravelClick said it's offset by average daily rate growth, which totaled 1.2 percent across all travel segments, and even higher -- 1.6 percent -- in the group travel segment.
"While the 12-month occupancy outlook continues to trend down, there are a number of key metrics showing signs of stability and consistency. These early indicators lessen some concern over declining occupancy and offers positive news for North American hoteliers," said TravelClick senior industry analyst John Hach. "Of particular note is the continued strength of the global distribution systems on track for a record year of worldwide hotel bookings. Our latest projections indicate growth of over 1 million incremental GDS hotel reservations in 2019, generating over 76 million annual hotel bookings for the first time in history."
TravelClick's numbers portend a similar story for the months ahead. Although group bookings for the next 12 months are down by 0.7 percent, the report said, ADR is up by 2.8 percent. And for the third quarter specifically, occupancy is down by 3.3 percent across all travel segments and 0.5 percent in the group travel segment, while ADR is up by 1 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
"While recent statistics show encouraging news, there remains concern on overall 2019 demand," Hach continued. "Therefore, it is imperative hoteliers remain vigilant."