Smith Travel Research (STR) released its full year data for Saratoga County’s lodging performance for 2020. The hotel industry saw the sharpest declines on record for average daily rate, occupancy, and revenue per available room. More specifically, here is the data for Saratoga County:
First Time Visitors
The first few months of 2020 looked promising, then the pandemic hit. Our hotels faced major declines for the remainder of the year, but there were a few bright spots! Saratoga saw an increase in leisure travelers from a driving radius of three hours, and many of these visitors came to Saratoga for the first time.
Despite this uptick in new visitors, Saratoga tourism did not recover due to the lack of spectators at Saratoga Racecourse and Saratoga Performing Arts Center as well as the many state, regional, and national conferences that had to cancel in 2020. Without these popular summer attractions and conferences, demand for rooms dropped 38% for the year.
Growth on the Horizon
The start of 2021 has not been great, but we expect to see strong growth in room demand and occupancy in late spring/early summer. This will be a combination of leisure travelers, corporate travelers, and group business. We expect road trips to remain popular as they provide a sense of comfort and control for leisure travelers.
With the development of the coronavirus vaccine, we are confident that people will transition from searching for trips online to booking them. The booking window for groups is already showing signs of strength for the second half of the year. We believe the demand will come back quickly once the restrictions are lifted and larger meetings can happen safely.
Meetings & Events
Despite the benefits of video conferencing, we believe there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. We have been in constant contact with our group clients in the corporate, association, sports, wedding, and tour group markets, and they eagerly want to come back to Saratoga.
Meeting and event attendees crave engagement, socialization, and a unique experience – something Saratoga can proudly offer! With Saratoga Racecourse already announcing summer racing dates (we are hopeful for spectators), we are confident that 2021 will be a more prosperous year for us all. While there is still some uncertainty, the excitement of travel and events is right around the corner!
Written by Darryl Leggieri of Discover Saratoga
Discover Saratoga, known as the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, is a key economic development engine for Saratoga County. We understand our industry ripples through the economy and effects how you plan your business. Every month we will keep you updated on all the key metrics such as: Room occupancy rates, average daily rates, revenue per available room and upcoming supply changes.
Our mission is to contribute a positive impact on the local economy by promoting and marketing Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County as a world-class destination for meetings, conventions, and groups.
If you have any questions or ideas for us, feel free to reach out.