Room for growth
U.S. hotels had a record year in 2017. Average occupancy rates reached a high of 66 percent and revenue per available room — a key metric for the industry — was a record $83.55.
Post-hurricane demand in Florida and Texas spurred demand, as the government paid for hotel rooms to house victims.
But even with hurricane-related demand subsiding, this year is starting strong. February was the 96th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in revenue per available room. That’s approaching the record 112-month stretch after the 1992 recession.
Hotel construction is tapering off this year, which should help existing hotels fill their rooms, says STR, an industry consulting firm. Tax cuts and a healthy economy should also increase demand. Revenue per room is still expected to grow this year, although at a slower pace than the last few years.