May 10, 2021

Conferences fuel year-over-year gains for South Florida hotels in June, data shows

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By Arlene Satchell From Sun Sentinel

A strong month of conferences and conventions in June helped lift South Florida’s hotel industry, which enjoyed year-over-year gains in occupancy, average daily room rates and revenues.

A new report released this week by Tennessee-based data specialist STR showed Broward hotels were 73.9 percent full last month, up from 72.3 percent from June 2016. Broward’s average daily rate rose to $112.78 up from $111.91 last year. The county’s revenue per available room climbed to $83.34 from $80.90 the previous year.

Broward hosted 10 large groups ranging from 400 to 4,000 people, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s meetings records.

They included the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo, which ran in Fort Lauderdale from June 9-11 and the Florida Government Finance Officers Association Annual Conference, from June 24-28 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood.

In addition, more than 20,000 athletes, coaches, and their families were welcomed in June for sports related events across the county, including the U.S. Amateur Boys State Basketball Championships and the Swim Fort Lauderdale International Classic.

During June, Southwest Airlines added four new international routes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Cancun, Mexico; Belize City, Belize and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Spirit Airlines added service from Fort Lauderdale to Hartford, Conn., and Pittsburgh, airport records show.

Preliminary data show Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood welcomed an estimated 2.67 million passengers last month, an increase of 13.8 percent from June 2016, said Steve Belleme, the airport’s business development manager Friday. Domestic passenger traffic was up about 9.3 percent, while international traffic soared to 33.7 percent, Belleme noted.

Palm Beach County hotels were 68.6 percent occupied at average daily rates of $124.74, while revenue per available rooms rose 5.3 percent to $85.58. That compares to occupancy, rates and revenue of 67.4 percent, $120.70 and $81.29, respectively in June 2016, according to STR.

“June was another strong month across all measurable metrics,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketer, in a statement. “Year over year, we’ve seen continued growth in occupancy, average daily rates and room nights from January through June.”

For the six-month 2017 period, The Palm Beaches, as the county is marketed for tourism purposes recorded higher occupancy of 77.6 percent, average daily rates of $195.51 and revenue per available room of $151.70, from the same period in 2016, STR data show.

“More visitors are coming here from historical markets in the northeast targeted by Discover The Palm Beaches and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, as well as from new markets that we began targeting two years ago, such as Chicago, Atlanta and Orlando,” added Pesquera. “Two large groups that held their conventions here in June helped to boost our overall numbers.”

In Miami-Dade County, the hotel sector posted higher occupancy and revenue per available room in June from a year ago of 72.8 percent and $106.92 respectively, but average daily rates slipped one percent to $146.87.

For more on this story and video go to: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-str-june17-sofla-hotel-stats-20170721-story.html

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