As Miami’s tourism industry prepares to enter its high season, it’s still shaking off the effects of Zika and other headwinds that threatened an industry collapse in September.
According STR, a data and analytics specialist, the key metric for hotel demand, room nights sold, was up in September in Miami-Dade County despite challenges. The county saw an increase of 2.6 percent over the same month last year. Room revenue also increased by 2.2 percent.
But the area was also struggling with a boom in the number of hotel rooms, with 5 percent more hotel rooms in September than the same month last year. That statistic, more so than Zika or other challenges, drives down hotel occupancy, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Occupancy in September was 68.4 percent, a year-over-year decrease of 2.4 percent.
Revenue per available room was also down by 2.8 percent. The average daily room rate slipped slightly by 0.4 percent, to $140.49.
Miami has struggled this year with a weak Latin American economy, a strong U.S. dollar, the growth of the short-term rental industry and a half-closed Miami Beach Convention Center.
And Zika dealt an unwelcome blow: Last month, several hotels reported steep losses in business during a meeting with the tourism bureau.
Active transmission of the mosquito-borne illness is still being recorded in a 4.5-square-mile zone of South and Middle Beach, from Eighth Street to 63rd Street.
Meanwhile, Broward County saw increases across the board. Room demand rose 3.7 percent and room revenue jumped by 7 percent. Revenue per available room increased by 6.1 percent, in conjunction with a higher daily room rate. The daily rate in September rose by 3.2 percent over last September to $105.28.