Hotel room rates throughout South Florida continued to soar in March even as occupancy dropped in some markets, according to data from travel research firm STR.
Miami-Dade hotels were 84.4 percent full last month, a drop of 1.7 percentage points compared to the same time in 2014. But average daily rates increased 7.4 percent to $255.55, sending the key measure of revenue per available room up more than 5 percent to $215.75.
Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said hotel supply in Miam-Dade actually increased 3.3 percent year-over-year in March, and the destination sold more room nights than it did a year before.
But with the added inventory, overall occupancy showed a dip. Aedo said the Miami area had the highest daily rates and per-room revenue of the top 25 hotel destinations in March.
“Our occupancy has been relatively flat for a while, which is ok by the hotel perspective as long as they can push the pricing power,” Aedo said. “We have more business in our hotels and we have a lot more hotel rooms and we’re charging more than ever.”
In the Florida Keys, occupancy was 88.2 percent, a drop of 1.8 percentage points. Like in Miami-Dade, the number of rooms and actual demand were up. And rates jumped 7.4 percent to $351.61, driving per-room revenue to $310.29.
Broward County saw increases in occupancy as well as rates. Hotels were 88.4 percent full, up one percentage points. Rates increased 9.2 percent to more than $175, while revenue per available room jumped more than 10 percent to almost $155.