March hotel occupancy dips in Miami-Dade

After a record-setting March last year, Miami-Dade hotels saw hotel occupancy numbers drop this year.

Hotels in the county were nearly 86 percent full in March, a drop of 3.5 percentage points, according to data released Thursday by travel research firm STR. Although average daily rates increased 2 percent to more than $243, revenue per available room was down 1.5 percent to $208.66.

Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said this March had fewer conventions in town and one less weekend of Ultra Music Festival, which last year stretched over two weekends. Easter also fell in March last year.

In Broward, hotel occupancy was slightly down to 87.9 percent. Average room rates of more than $160 a night were about 4.5 percent higher than March of last year. And per-room revenue increased 4.4 percent to more than $141.

The Florida Keys saw slight growth to 89.5 percent occupancy, with rates leaping 9.1 percent to more than $329. Revenue per available room jumped 9.6 percent to nearly $295.

March finished off a strong quarter for the Keys, which said this week that data from STR shows the destination topped all U.S. markets in hotel occupancy and revenue per available room for the first quarter. Occupancy was an average of 88.1 percent for the quarter, while per-room revenue was $262.49.

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