The data shows that occupancy was up 4.2 per cent, the average daily rate was up nearly 20 per cent, and the revenue per available room was up nearly 25 per cent in March.
“Canada’s hotel performance continued on its upward trajectory in March, with key metric indices showing accelerated growth compared to the first two months of the year,” said Laura Baxter, CoStar Group’s director of hospitality analytics for Canada. CoStar Group is the parent company of STR.
“Notably, the ADR increase against 2019 was the highest of the pandemic era, showing no signs of pulling back on a national level. Rate improvements were seen during the weekday, with the index once again advancing on 2019 levels, suggesting that corporate rate increases implemented this year are starting to reflect in the weekday data. Added leisure rates during March break, which are typically higher than corporate rates, also contributed favorably to the blended weekday rate. When examining location types, the highest room rate lifts were in resorts and airport hotels, further pointing to strong growth surrounding March break travel.
“Weekday occupancy was 3 per cent ahead of the 2019 comparable, a positive sign for the return of business travel. April and May weekday occupancy will give a better reading on the segment’s health, but we have seen improvements taking place with first-quarter weekday occupancy down just 1 per cent against the pre-pandemic level. This is down slightly more in urban hotels, a decline of 5 per cent over the same timeframe, demonstrating the lag of corporate travel. The segment with the most runway for improvement at a national level, however, is group with occupancy down 9 per cent from the Q1 2019.”
Manitoba recorded the highest occupancy in March, while New Brunswick saw the lowest occupancy among provinces.