Red-hot demand from leisure travelers just boosted a key lodging industry metric higher than it was during the same period in 2019, marking the first time since the pandemic began that U.S. hotels outperformed pre-COVID levels.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR), which combines occupancy and prices, increased 5.7% last week compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from lodging analytics firm STR.
RevPAR in Phoenix increased 43% from 2019, the highest among major markets, while New Orleans and San Francisco notched the steepest decline. Hotels in New York City also continue to struggle.
While demand from vacationers is expected to remain strong, the hotel industry will have to wait for corporate travelers to return to the road before it sees a fully recovery. That’s unlikely to happen before September.