Occupancy rates rose at South Florida hotels in March, compared to the same month last year, but room rates declined in the tri-county area, industry tracker STR reported.
Hotels in Palm Beach County had an 87.4 percent occupancy rate in March, up from 84.6 percent in the same month last year.
Broward County hotels were 87.3 percent full last month, compared to 86.5 percent in March 2016.
The March occupancy rate at Miami-Dade County hotels ticked up to 85.7 percent from 84 percent last year.
But average daily room rates were lower in all three counties in March than in the same month last year.
Average daily room rates in March dropped to $244.34 in from $245.18 last year in Palm Beach County, to $180.51 from $185.57 in Broward, and to $233.36 from $250.71 in Miami-Dade.
Group business helped to boost March occupancy rates in Palm Beach County.
The number of hotel room-nights booked for groups and meetings in March nearly doubled in Palm Beach County to 11,081 from 5,705 last year, according to Discover the Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing arm.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau reported a 3 percent increase in group business at Broward hotels in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth