Hurricane Matthew failed to make landfall in South Florida, but the 12-day tropical storm did financial damage to the tri-county hotel industry, based on fresh data from hotel industry databank STR.
STR reported October occupancy rates fell at hotels in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties from last year’s levels.
Widespread public concern about Hurricane Matthew held down room bookings from its formation on September 28 until its dissipation October 10.
Media coverage of the hurricane deterred travelers from visiting South Florida and led some visitors to cut short their stays at hotels in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Rolando Aedo, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Sun-Sentinel that Hurricane Matthew “really impacted almost 10 days of business.”
October hotel occupancy in Miami-Dade fell to 67.2 percent from 73.3 percent last year, and the county’s average daily room rate dropped to $159.18 from $166.88.
Stacy Ritter, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Sun-Sentinel, “We figure we lost two weeks to Hurricane Matthew.”
STR reported that October hotel occupancy in Broward dropped to 68.4 percent from 72.6 percent last year. The county’s average daily room rate dropped slightly to $118 from $119.34.
Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for Discover the Palm Beaches, told the Sun-Sentinel that “coastal properties lost several days of business in the days prior to the storm’s passing, as well as from forced evacuations during the storm.”
October occupancy went down in Palm Beach County, too, declining to 65,3 percent from 69.2 percent last year. The average daily room rate in October was unchanged at $132.61. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth