New York City hotels see bounceback in bookings
New data shows hotels across the city made some progress toward normal occupancy over the past holiday season, but they still fell short of pre-pandemic occupancy levels.
Despite efforts to attract the same number of guests, some hoteliers in the city say they were still able to come out on top.
“We did well. There are definitely reasons for optimism,” said Justin Arest, managing partner at Kixby Hotel.
What you need to know Data from analytics company STR shows that average occupancy for the month of December increased by nine percent from 2021 to 2022
Despite the increase, the number is still more than seven percent below the 2019 peak of 88.5 percent across the five boroughs
Hoteliers said most of their issues appear to be lingering effects of the Coronavirus
After several years of pandemic-related setbacks in attracting customers to the city, Arest said the occupancy rate for Kixby was up 4% last December compared to 2021.
“There’s development back in the area. There’s people going back to work, which is really important to the recovery. Travelers want to travel. There’s so much pent-up demand,” Arest said.
In fact, Arest said, people are willing to pay more. It and many hotels increased the average rate per room in December compared to the same time period a year earlier.
Citywide hotel occupancy rates are seeing the same pattern of recovery, but still far from where they were before the pandemic in 2019.
Data from analytics company STR shows that average occupancy for the month of December increased by 9% from 2021 to 2022.
Despite the increase, the number is still more than 7% lower than 2019’s high occupancy rate of 88.5% across the five boroughs.
“[Our] rates were slightly below 2019 numbers – about 5%,” said Peter Yeung, managing director of Walker Hotel.
Yeung said his occupancy rates are moving in the right direction, along with what he’s been able to charge guests.
“The real win was the average daily rate. We were able to charge more,” Yeung said.
Room rates in the Tribeca spot rose 25% from December 2021 compared to a year ago.
“I think that if we continue to raise the housing rates a little higher. I think it’s going to be a good year,” Yeung said.
Despite the success, there are still several hurdles for the industry to overcome, including multiple sick customer cancellations and a higher than desired staff turnover.
Hoteliers said both of these industry ailments appear to be lingering effects of the pandemic.