According to the most recent data compiled by Inntopia as part of the DestiMetrics Market Briefing, actual lodging occupancy among participating southeastern resorts for the month of July was down 1.8 percent compared to July 2016 while the Average Daily Rate (ADR) was up 2.5 percent for the same time period. The rate gains helped offset the dip in occupancy to provide an aggregated 0.6 percent gain in revenue for the month compared to last year. DestiMetrics is a forward-looking data-based reporting product within Inntopia’s Business Intelligence platform that collects advanced reservation lodging information from multiple participating destination resorts and then provides individualized and aggregated results to those subscribers—lodging properties, destination marketing organizations, and local chambers of commerce. Information is released in a Monthly Market Briefing and is designed to deliver lodging reservation activity to assist with budgeting, staffing, and marketing for participating destinations.
As of July 31, for the full summer from May through October, aggregated occupancy among participating southeastern resorts is up a slight 0.2 percent while the aggregated ADR for the season is up a moderate 1.7 percent compared to the summer of 2016. These figures include actual numbers for the three months of the summer and “on-the-books” figures for the remaining three months of the six-month summer period.
Looking beyond the summer months, projections based on the data provided by seven destinations in four states and14,800 lodging units, currently show mixed results for occupancy and revenues. Total bookings made in the month of July for arrivals in July through December are down 10.1 percent compared to bookings made in the same month last year. Bookings for August arrivals are down 16.2 percent and September arrivals are down 4.9 percent. On the revenue side of the story, as of July 31, 95.7 percent of all revenue from the summer of 2016 has already either been “banked” or is on the books for the coming three months. This is a two percent increase in aggregated revenues compared to the same time last year.
“DestiMetrics has been gathering and reporting on data at 20 western mountain destinations in eight states for the past 12 years and has developed a loyal and growing collection of partners that depend on this data to help with their strategic planning for the future,” explained Tom Foley, vice president of Business Intelligence for Inntopia. “In the past, destinations had to depend on historical data to plan for future business but with the DestiMetrics platform, properties and organizations that subscribe to the service can receive specific data about their region and compare themselves to their local and regional competitors,” he continued.
The Monthly Market Briefing also monitors and provides analysis on key economic indicators. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared up 541 points in July for its fourth consecutive monthly gain and finishing 3,450 points higher than July of 2016. The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) also bounced up 3.2 percent after three consecutive months of decline, and pushed the Index over the 120-point mark for only the second time since December 2000. The CCI now sits 25.2 percent above where it was in July 2016. And on the employment front, employers exceeded expectations by adding 209,000 new jobs and helped bring the Unemployment Rate down to 4.3 percent—down ten basis points from June.
“Wall Street continues to be bolstered by strong job creation and consumer confidence, despite a hum of concern about government policy on health care initiatives and tax reform,” observed Foley. “Consumers expectations for the short-term outlook rose last month and suggests that they expect current conditions to improve through the remainder of the calendar year. And even though wages and earnings continue to remain mostly stagnant, destination travel visitors this summer have shown remarkable tolerance for steadily increasing rates,” he continued.
“Booking and rate trends for the past five or six months among participating southeastern properties are continuing to follow the same pattern that emerged in the late winter and early spring with relatively flat overall occupancy and sharp, sometimes dramatic, gains in average daily rate,” said Foley. “Concerns about the economy haven’t materialized despite challenges with policy implementation and other mounting concerns in Washington D.C. And, though we don’t wish to minimize the challenging weather conditions in some regions of the country, for the most part, southeastern resort travel destinations have been spared direct impact from dramatic events that can discourage leisure travel.”
*These reports track resort performance in selected mountain and southeast U.S. destinations. We compile forward-looking reservation data each month and provide individualized and aggregated results to subscribers at participating resorts. Data from southeastern destinations is derived from seven resort destinations including Hilton Head, SC; Golden Isles, GA; Osceola County (Kissimmee), FL; Florida Keys & Key West, FL; Okaloosa County, FL: Panama City Beach, FL; and Alabama Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL. Results may vary significantly among/between resorts and participating properties.