AUGUST WAS, OVERALL, another good month for the U.S. hotel industry. However, a drop off in revenues from non-rooms revenue, primarily from a dip in F&B services, did hold back full-service hotels’ total RevPAR for the month, according to data tracking firm HotStats.
Rooms revenue rose 2.5 percent in August over the same time last year, and F&B rose 5.3 percent while conference and banqueting rose 7.3 percent per room, according to HotStats. This led to a 3.6 percent increase in TrevPAR and profit per room increased by 4.5 percent to $74.99.
However, non-rooms revenue stood at $77.07, below the year-to-date average of $96.25. The cause was a significantly lower contribution from F&B, which was at $58.32 per available room compared to $76.95 for the year to date, according to HotStats. It also led to a $226.75 TRevPAR rate for U.S. hotels, the lowest rate for the year, lower than $232.20 for January.
Changing demand dynamics for the month also play a role, according to HotStats.
“Capturing volume in August never seems to be an issue for hotels in the U.S. as demand levels soar, fueled by domestic and international travel patterns. However, with a higher proportion of demand from leisure sources, the ability to drive premium average room rates is challenged,” said HotStats CEO Pablo Alonso. “Furthermore, the resistance to rate is reflected in the overall leisure consumer spend. While this does not suggest that the overall spend for leisure visitors is less than commercial visitors, it does suggest that spend on accommodation is not the priority and much of this ancillary expenditure takes place outside of the hotel in local restaurants, bars and at tourist attractions.”
Los Angeles hotels saw the best performance for the month, due in part to a peak in the number of passengers handled at Los Angeles International Airport. Profit per room in the city reached $91.57 that month, not quite at the $102.12 peak seen in June but above the year-to-date figure of $91.27. Occupancy levels reached 90.4 percent, a high for the year and a 1.1-percent increase over the same period in 2017.
However, despite the high occupancy ADR fell by 1.9 percent to $209.06 and contributed to the 0.7-percent drop in RevPAR to $188.94. Non-rooms revenue was also down for the city, standing at 25.5 percent of total revenue compared to the year-to-date contribution of 30.7 percent.