Despite inflation being at all-time highs, people are still willing to spend on travel and leisure. For this reason, hotel occupancy rates in several regions for the month of May were as strong as they were before the Coronavirus pandemic, according to new data from HotStats.
The continent was a top performer in May with occupancy rates at their highest levels since November 2019 and in tandem with average daily rates that are now, on a nominal basis, on par or higher than pre-pandemic 2019, according to the data collection company for the hotel industry. May European ADR was €30 higher than the prior year and is now up 127% since its all-time low in May 2020.
The strong room performance carried through to food and beverage revenue, which has been on a steady incline since January. It is now US$6 lower than its May 2019 level on a per-available-room basis, HotStats reported. The combined room, and food and beverage charges pushed total revenue to €184 on a per-available-room basis, its highest level since October 2019.
Despite a global energy crisis, utility expenses fell in May against the four previous months to around €7 per available room, HotStats said. Still, utility costs remain at all-time highs and May’s level was nearly €2 higher than May 2019.
The company reports that labor costs are trending up, hitting €52 per available room in May, which is on par with pre-pandemic labor costs.
Gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) was recorded at €71, now up €75 since GOPPAR turned negative in January. May’s GOPPAR is now at the same level as May 2019.
HotStats said hotel rates have leveled after three strong months from January through March. Currently rates are down about 10% from pre-pandemic levels.
May, which benefitted from the Memorial Day holiday and saw TSA throughputs consistently above 2 million daily, saw TRevPAR hit US$227, which was on par with the previous month, but still US$40 down versus May 2019.
Total revenue was led by an ADR that remains above pre-pandemic levels. Another positive sign is a steady return of corporate travel, according to HotStats.
Despite headwinds, GOPPAR remains steady at above US$90 since March. For May it is at US$94 in the month, which is US$8 off its pre-pandemic number.
GOPPAR hit US$73 in May, US$16 higher than in May 2019. Rate continues to drive the profit gains, with ADR hitting US$184; although these rates have declined since its high mark in April of close to US$285.
Cost creep, however, is having an impact on the bottom line. Total payroll is still below pre-pandemic levels but is climbing and is now US$22 higher above its April 2020 low, HotStats said.
Meanwhile, utility expenses are ticking upward but more likely a trend in seasonality with utilities going up in the region’s warmer months.
China remains an underperformer following the most recent COVID lockdowns with occupancy and rate declines.
Occupancy is still well down versus 2019 but did move 6 percentage points up in May over the previous month. Rates are US$23 lower than in May 2019. In fact, China ADR is only US$2 higher than it was at its pandemic low in April 2020.
The good news, according to HotStats, is that as travel returns, so, too, shall hotel performance. GOPPAR in May hit only US$5.53 but was coming off back-to-back months of negative GOPPAR.