Full speed ahead: Despite COVID-19, resort revenue booming in states such as Florida
Ask anyone from Florida, Georgia or South Carolina if they feel the highways or beaches have been more congested now than in 2020 in their state and you’re likely met with a predictable look of accordance. We know that eager travelers have been flocking to warm destinations where outdoor activities are abundant and dining outside is common during the coronavirus pandemic, but likely no state has welcomed more visitors seeking a respite from the winter blues and those tired of being cooped up at home than Florida.
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Though we know Florida has always been a popular tourist destination due to its warm weather, theme parks and beautiful beaches, according to Travel Weekly, the state’s March 2021 occupancy metrics at resort properties have eclipsed pre-pandemic March 2019 numbers. Along with Georgia and South Carolina, resort properties across these three markets saw occupancy rates increase 5% in 2021 compared to March 2019.
Related: Opening America: State-by-state guide to coronavirus reopening
While we’re not surprised by the influx of visitors to these states during the pandemic, the eye-opening statistic is the average daily rate (ADR) -- the revenue made per resort room -- was up an astonishing 29.6% in March 2021, surpassing 36% total increase in revenue from the same time back in March 2019.
With no signs of tourism slowing down in these states, resort booking trends are steadily increasing. As of March 31, resorts in these states are experiencing a 15.7% greater increase in room occupancy between March 2021 and August 2021, compared to the same six-month period pre-pandemic in 2019.
Hotels in the southeast, particularly in Florida, continue to accommodate guests but restrict hotel amenities such as lounge access, restaurant dining and spa services. It’s interesting to see that while the coronavirus pandemic has altered the resort experience, all signs point to universal pent-up demand for travel and a continued influx of vacationers heading out on holiday to these popular states.