Rates paid for North American hotel rooms in February led to record increases over the prior year for both business and leisure bookings, according to new data from Pegasus Solutions. North American corporate rates reached a new high of 7.1%, edging past the previous record margin of 7% set in January 2012 and July 2011, while leisure rates rose 7.3%, almost a full percentage point more than June 2011’s previous high of 6.4%.
While North America leads the rate recovery as a region, Pegasus reported, corporate rates grew 3.7% globally, and leisure rates jumped 7.6% globally over 2011.
Bookings enjoyed a bump from Leap Year, as the extra day in the month drove global booking volumes up for both channels. Globally, corporate bookings rose 5.1% over prior year, and would still have risen 0.5% without the extra day. Leisure bookings, which rose 2.5%, would have returned a drop of 1.6% without February 29th.
“By the numbers, February was a good month worldwide,” said Mike Kistner, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. “No doubt, business and consumer reservation volumes were bolstered by the extra day of bookings, but it wasn’t Leap Year that drove rates up — demand did. And it did so in an utterly convincing manner for both channels, setting records in North America and still rising elsewhere.”