Skift Take

In a period of Omicron, these occupancy rates are short of a Christmas miracle, but the industry should still take them as a win given the disruptions the variant wrought.

The Omicron took its biggest hit on hotels in New York City during the holiday week, but the rest of the country showed resilience as occupancy rates did not crater because of the fast-spreading variant.

U.S. occupancy rates were at 44.3 percent, about 8 percent lower than during the comparable week in 2019 before the pandemic, according to new data from STR. For Christmas Day, occupancy notched 47.2 percent, just above the previous high for December 25 of 47 percent in 2015. This would indicate Americans were hitting the road to visit family during the holidays, consistent with news that many travelers canceled international trips.

New York City took a big hit this year, said STR without specifying an occupancy rate. That’s not surprising with the Big Apple’s spiking case counts and the closing of some Broadway shows, always a tourist draw.

STR noted that due “to the steep, pandemic-driven performance declines of 2020, STR is measuring recovery against comparable time periods from 2019.”

Dallas emerged as the week’s biggest winner, with 2019 comparables down just 2.8 percent to 43.6 percent.

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Tags: hotels, occupancy, omicron variant

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