Business

For the fourth straight month, South Florida’s hotel performance has suffered

Tourists walk on Lincoln Road during Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5, 2016, when Zika was a major deterrent to travel to Miami. The effect of Zika lingers, with some group business in 2017 canceled due to the rise of the epidemic last year.
Tourists walk on Lincoln Road during Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5, 2016, when Zika was a major deterrent to travel to Miami. The effect of Zika lingers, with some group business in 2017 canceled due to the rise of the epidemic last year. ctrainor@maimiherald.com

January spelled the fourth month of consecutive decline for South Florida’s ailing hotel industry.

According to data from hotel performance tracker STR, Miami-Dade County ended January with 0.4 percent less room nights sold than the same time last year, marking the fourth month since October to face declines. Room nights sold in Broward County was 2.5 percent lower than January 2016. Both numbers show a slight uptick over the past three months, when room nights sold dipped as low as 3.9 percent under the previous October in Miami-Dade and 6.2 percent under October 2015 in Broward.

Room night sold this month were down 0.4 percent in Miami-Dade and 2.5 percent in Broward under January 2016.

In January, hotel rooms in Miami-Dade were nearly 5 percent less full than in January 2016 and hotels were able to charge about 9.3 percent less for rooms. The average daily rate was $215, compared to $237 at the same time in 2016.

Broward’s average hotel rates also clocked in lower, by 2.1 percent, than last January, at $168. In 2015, hotels charged about $172 on average in January. Nearly 80 percent of hotel rooms were full, which was about 2 percent less than January 2016.

Overall, the industry brought in nearly 10 percent less revenue in Miami-Dade and about 5 percent less revenue in Broward than the same time last year.

-9.6 percent Decrease in hotel revenue in Miami-Dade in January over the same time last year

The decline, experts say, are due to obstacles that plagued the industry in 2016, including a surge in new hotel rooms (4.6 percent more rooms in January in Miami-Dade this year over last), a strong U.S. dollar, a weak Latin American economy, the loss of 2017 group business due to Zika and the impact of a shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that claimed five lives.

But demand is rising, Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Herald last week. Experts hope this past President’s Day weekend, a tourism mega-event thanks to three major festivals and shows in Miami-Dade, will help improve hotel performance. Numbers for the weekend are not yet available.

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