Despite the travel turmoil over the holidays, US hotel occupancy reached an all-time high on Christmas, according to the latest data from hotel industry analysts STR. At 47.2 percent, hotel occupancy on Christmas Day was just above the previous high of 47 percent set in 2015.
While omicron-related service disruptions made headlines because of flight cancelations and delays, overall US hotel occupancy levels during Christmas week were less impacted. Still, for the entire week ending Dec. 25, occupancy levels dropped from the week prior.
Compared with the same week in 2019, nationwide occupancy was down 8.7 percent coming in a 44.3 percent. A steeper decline from 2019 levels was due more to a calendar shift, according to STR, since Christmas in 2019 fell on a Wednesday and allowed for an earlier return to non-holiday weekend levels that year.
While none of the Top 25 Markets saw occupancy levels increase over STR’s benchmark year of 2019, Dallas came closest to its 2019 levels (down 2.8 percent to 43.6 percent).
With the spike in COVID-19 cases closing restaurants, Broadway shows and other attractions, New York City was harder hit than the rest of the country, a disappointing result given the rebound Big Apple hotels had been enjoying in the weeks leading up to the holidays.