Hotel room occupancy was down again in April. Room rates were up, but the percentages of rooms filled was down. But are these really good figures to start basing assumptions on? After all, a lot of rooms have been taken out of commission for repairs, or were turned into time share in the past year or so. And a number of rooms that were out of commission came back into the market. So are these numbers a solid apples to apples comparison, or are the variables part of the explanation for the numbers being down vs. last year?
Certainly, the local hotel industry has seen a nice run of almost three years of solid growth, so a slowdown was inevitable, but its hard to read the truncated reports given to us and really assess if the percentages reflect more rooms available, less rooms available, or what.
The bottom line is, we need hotel rooms filled, we need people to stay as long or longer than in the past, we need spending per visit to inch up, and--oh, yeh--we need to make sure that visitors have a real nice experience when they interact with us while they are here--yes, tourism really is the biggest cog in our economic machinery. Numbers do matter. Think About It.