2020 officially the worst year on record for U.S. hotels according to STR


The U.S. hotel industry reported all-time lows in occupancy and revenue per available room in 2020, according to year-end data from STR.

In addition to historically low absolute levels in the aforementioned metrics, average daily rate came in lower than any year since 2011. Year-over-year declines were the worst on record across the three key performance metrics.

Occupancy for the year averaged out to 44 percent, down 33.3 percent from 2019. Average daily rate was $103.25, down 21.3 percent, while revenue per available room was $45.48, down 47.5 percent.

For the first time in history, the industry surpassed 1 billion unsold room nights, which eclipsed the 786 million unsold room nights during the Great Recession in 2009. Based on November year-to-date results, the industry is expected to show nearly zero profit for the year when STR releases profit and loss data next week.   

Top Markets

Among the top 25 markets, Minneapolis/St. Paul/Wisconsin reported the lowest occupancy level (33.3 percent), which represented a 49.9 percent decline in year-over-year comparisons.

Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. (50.8 percent), was the only top 25 market to reach 50 percent occupancy. The market’s occupancy level was still 29.4 percent lower than 2019.

Oahu Island, Hawaii, was the only major market to post ADR above $200 at $215.57 (-10.5 percent), even as the market saw the steepest year-over-year occupancy decline (-53.7 percent to 39 percent).

Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Va., came in closest to its 2019 comparable with occupancy of 49.1 percent (-22.7 percent) and RevPAR at $43.93 (-34.7 percent).

In aggregate, the top 25 markets showed lower occupancy (42.9 percent) but higher ADR ($114.09) than all other markets.

This article first appeared on Hotel Management.