Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hampton Roads Hotels Still Fighting to Get Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy has updated its study on the hotel industry (Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

STATEWIDE — The hospitality industry across Virginia has been slowly recovering from the after effects of the COVID-19 shutdown, but it still has a long way to go when compared to 2019 numbers, said a press release from Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy.

Newly released monthly data from STR, a firm that tracks prices and revenue in the hospitality industry around the world, show that hotel revenues and rooms sold decreased by 22 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in Virginia  during June 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic levels for the same month in 2019. The Average Daily Rate (ADR) paid for hotel rooms in June 2021 was $111.83; a 9 percent decrease from June 2019.

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However, hotels in Hampton Roads are fairing better than other major metropolitan areas in the state with a 10 percent increase in revenue over June 2019. Comparatively, Northern Virginia and Charlottesville are down 53 percent and 9 percent respectively.

Compared to June 2019, specifically within the Hampton Roads markets, hotel revenue decreased by 9 percent in Newport News/Hampton market and by 6% in Williamsburg market. On the southside hotel revenues increased by 24 percent in Virginia Beach, by 7 percent in Norfolk/Portsmouth and by 6.7 percent in Chesapeake/Suffolk. Rooms sold decreased by 15 percent in Williamsburg and by 7 percent in Newport News/Hampton. There was no change for Norfolk/Portsmouth, but rooms sold increased by nearly 2 percent in Chesapeake/Suffolk market.

“The hotel industry continues to recover in the commonwealth as well as in Hampton Roads,” said Professor Vinod Agarwal of the Dragas Center. “With increasing vaccinations, rising consumer confidence and pent-up demand we have seen significant improvement in the performance of the hotel industry over the 2020 levels and we expect the industry to continue its recovery each month through the end of 2021.”

Agarwal went on to temper expectations of continued recovery by noting the numbers COVID-19 infections rising among the unvaccinated population and that has the potential to undermine the industry’s recovery.

While the sudden rise in revenue so far this summer is a welcome sight for Virginia hoteliers, it is important to keep in mind that the state as a whole is still down 31 percent from the same time frame two years ago.

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