What happens to occupancy when Easter shifts and fewer schools are on break?
School breaks impact occupancy. We all know it. It’s part of the reason we release a school break report every spring. But how much of a difference do these days off actually make in the visitation and occupancy of resorts? This week and next we’re answering this question in two ways. The first, is what happens when Easter is shifted and no longer falls during school breaks. Take a look.
To find our answer we looked at an industry that’s heavily reliant on school breaks – mountain resorts in the Western U.S. – and compared the effects of Easter falling on March 27, 2016 and being pushed to April 16 in 2017. We compared occupancy a few weeks out from Easter each year to the percentage of schools that were and plotted them below.
The number of public schools on break in our sample were down 60% (34 percentage points) from 2016 to 2017 and average occupancy was down 27% (19 percentage points).
What This Means
In other words, when the number of public schools on break dropped 60% YOY for Easter week the average occupancy dropped 27% for that same window. Is it a 1:1 difference? Of course not, not every visitor has children is school and a school being out for a week is just one of many factors that influence travel decisions,
But the difference in YOY occupancy following this dip in schools on break is nothing to sneeze at. Much of what our business intelligence platform seeks to answer is what influences occupancy outside of your own efforts. School breaks are not just on this list, but very close to the top.
Next Week, Another Angle
School breaks impact more than just holidays. Next week we’ll dig into midweek occupancy. Don’t want to miss it? Sign up for new insight alerts below.