Not surprisingly, Hurricane Sandy had a major impact on hotel reservations in New York City and Atlantic City, according to new data from Pegasus Solutions.
In New York City, reservations fell 61% from prior year for arrivals October 30, after the storm made landfall. The next day’s bookings were 50% below last year, and they remained depressed by at least 25% through November 3. Cancellations increased by triple-digit percentages over 2011 for stays October 28 through November 1. Booking declines leveled off after November 11, aided by crews and residents seeking hotels for temporary housing.
Atlantic City, with a higher mix of leisure visitors, saw reservations plummet almost 70% from last year, with decreases as high as 60% through November 3. The dramatic cancellations for this area reached as high as 2,800% over last year on November 3, registering in the triple digits on several other days. Substantial decreases eased after November 6, with evidence of sporadic boosts and declines through November.
More broadly, the third quarter was generally positive for business and leisure travel hotel bookings and rates. Globally, business bookings that rallied during July and August, coming within 3% of prior year, returned to pre-summer levels at 7.8% lower than 2011. Rates were more stable, easing to just 1.5% lower than last year and realizing 0.4% growth year-to-date. Leisure-travel growth slowed at the end of the quarter, but still rose 2.6% over prior year during an off-peak travel period. ADR paid globally also grew 2.2%.