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STR, TE downgrade U.S. hotel forecast

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NEW YORK—The U.S. hotel industry is projected to see overall performance growth of 2.0% for 2019 and 1.9% for 2020, according to STR and Tourism Economics’ latest forecast just released at the 41st Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. The growth figure for 2019 is lower than the 2.3% increase projected in February of this year.

“The first quarter of the year came in worse than forecasted on the ADR side, and while the indicators point to better performance the remainder of this year, we lowered our RevPAR projection 30 basis points mostly as a result of Q1 performance,” said Amanda Hite, STR’s president and CEO. “The good news is that we continue to set monthly demand records, and occupancy has been a bit better than expected. Economic momentum is slowing, but consumer confidence and a low unemployment rate should aid more meaningful performance growth as we get into the busy summer months. Forward-looking U.S. air travel bookings remain steady and vacation intentions are on the upswing compared to the two previous years.

“Moving forward, we’re monitoring the development pipeline—even though supply growth has been gradual on a national level, we’ve already seen the impact of new inventory in major markets and the select-service segments, and construction activity has been up for seven straight months overall. Additionally, labor costs have outgrown revenue for two consecutive years, which is placing more pressure on already shrinking profit margins.” 

For the last four years, STR’s forecast has ranked as the most accurate among top industry prognosticators.



2019 Forecast

2020 Forecast
















Source: STR/Tourism Economics


For 2019 as a whole, the U.S. hotel industry is projected to report a 0.1% increase in occupancy to 66.2%, a 1.9% rise in average daily rate (ADR) to US$132.32 and a 2.0% lift in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to US$87.65.

RevPAR increased 2.9% in both 2018 and 2017—that growth level was the lowest RevPAR percentage change for the country since 2009. 

A majority of the U.S. Top 25 Markets are projected to register RevPAR growth in the range of 1% to 3%. Three markets are expected to fall within a growth range of 3% to 7%: Atlanta, San Francisco/San Mateo and Tampa/St. Petersburg. On the other side of the forecast, five markets are likely to see a year-over-year RevPAR comparison between -2% and 1%: Houston, Miami/Hialeah, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Among chain scales, the Economy segment is likely to report the largest increase in occupancy (+0.5%). Luxury chains are expected to post the highest growth rate in ADR (+2.3%). Independents are expected to see the highest jump in RevPAR (+2.2%). While all segments should report RevPAR increases for 2019, the lowest rate of RevPAR growth is projected in the Midscale segment (+1.2%).


The forecast for 2020 remains mostly the same. STR and Tourism Economics project a 0.2% decrease in occupancy to 66.1%, a 2.2% lift in ADR to US$135.17 and a 1.9% rise in RevPAR to US$89.36. Occupancy in the U.S. has not declined year over year since 2009.

All but four major markets are projected for RevPAR increases between 1% and 3%. Boston, Miami/Hialeah, Norfolk/Virginia Beach and San Francisco/San Mateo are expected to see RevPAR increases between 3% and 7%.

The highest overall rate of RevPAR growth (+2.2%) is expected in the Luxury segment, while the lowest (+1.4%) is projected among Midscale chains. 

A note to editors: All references to STR data and analysis should cite “STR” as the source. Please refrain from citing “STR, Inc.” “Smith Travel Research” or “STR Global” in sourcing as those names no longer fit within the STR brand.

About STR
STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for global hospitality sectors. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. For more information, please visit

About Tourism Economics
Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, focuses on the intersection of the economy and travel sector, providing actionable insights to our clients. We provide our worldwide client base with direct access to the most comprehensive set of historic and forecast travel data available. And our team of specialist economists develops custom economic impact studies, policy analysis, and forecast models.

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