August occupancy lower at South Florida hotels

The impact of Zika concern on hotels may become more apparent in September data from STR

Sep.September 24, 2016 09:05 AM

Ikona Hotel, 3030 Bayshore Drive, Fort Lauderdale (Credit: Sun-Sentinel)

August occupancy rates at hotels in tri-county South Florida dropped from last year’s levels in all three counties, hotel analytics firm STR reported.

Average daily room rates in August also dropped in Miami-Dade County, but average rates rose in Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to STR.

August occupancy at Miami-Dade County hotels dropped to 73.9 percent from 75.8 percent last year. Miami-Dade hotels charged an average daily room rate of $143.71 in August, down from $146.65 in the same month last year.

Fear of the Zika virus outbreak may push September occupancy rates lower at hotels in South Florida and particularly in Miami Beach, which has been designated as an active zone for Zika transmission. Some Miami Beach hotel operators have reported lower-than-expected bookings for the Art Basel art show December 1-4, and Zika is a factor.

August occupancy at Broward hotels was 73 percent, down a bit from 73.9 percent last year, but their average daily rate (ADR) in August rose to $106.05 from $103.27 last year. Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Sun-Sentinel that “this was the highest August ADR in [our] history.”

August room rates at Palm Beach County hotels averaged $116.05, a modest 69-cent increase from last year, and their August occupancy rates averaged 63 percent, down slightly from 63.8 percent last year.

Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover the Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization, told the Sun-Sentinel the 63 percent average occupancy rate in August was an achievement, “given the challenges with news on Zika in South Florida and the fact that more hotel rooms are available than ever before.” [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth

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