Summer Travel Season Ends on a Positive Note

The summer travel season has come to an end.  Unlike last year, this year’s summer travel season ends on a positive note – finally.  After eighteen consecutive months of year-over-year declines, we finally saw growth in the number of rooms occupied in Springfield lodging facilities.

According to the STR Report compiled by Smith Travel Research, Springfield’s first increase in occupied rooms since the start of the Great Recession occurred in June with a modest increase in occupied rooms of 0.8 percent.  The STR Report showed the increase in occupied rooms in Springfield in July was a more impressive 4.6 percent.  August was even better – a 9.2 percent increase in occupied rooms!

Is this a trend showing the recession is over?  Who knows, but it does at least appear we have hit the bottom and are beginning to rebound.  Even so, it will take awhile to get back to where we were before the recession.  Although an increase in occupied rooms of 9.2 percent is impressive by any standard, it is tempered by the fact that August 2009 was down in rooms occupied by 10.8 percent when compared to August 2008.  The same goes for June and July – down 4.6 percent and 9.1 percent respectively when compared to 2008.

Further, average daily rate (ADR – the average amount hotels charge for their rooms) lags behind occupied rooms.  In June 2010, ADR was down 3.7 percent and in July, ADR was down 4.1 percent.  ADR increased for the first time this year in August by 1.1 percent.

There are sure to be bumps along the way to recovery, but let’s all keep our fingers crossed better days are ahead!


Tracy Kimberlin is the President & CEO of the Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau

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