STR looks at Canada’s 2019 hotel performance

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — The overall performance of Canadian hotels could best be described as more negative than positive: occupancy was down 1.3 per cent, while ADR was up 1.2 per cent and RevPAR was almost the same as in 2018, down just 0.2 per cent. It’s no surprise that British Columbia reported the largest increase in RevPAR, and August was the year’s top month for all three metrics.

Compared with 2018 (all monetary values in Canadian dollars): 
— Occupancy was down 1.3 per cent to 65.2 per cent;
— Average daily rate (ADR) was up 1.2 per cent to $165.23
— Revenue per available room (RevPAR) was down 0.2 per cent to $107.81

The absolute ADR level was the highest for any year in STR’s Canada database, while the absolute RevPAR level was the second-highest on record behind 2018 ($108.00).

An October report from Destination Canada showed that overnight arrivals of international visitors to the country surpassed 1.6 million for the first time ever for that month, bringing year-to-date visitors to a record high of 19.6 million (+5.0 per cent). STR analysts note that despite that exponential growth, hotel demand (+0.1 per cent) lagged behind supply (+1.5 per cent), which brought occupancy down. With occupancy levels declining and economic growth slowing, hoteliers experienced less pricing power compared with 2018.

In absolute values, August was Canada’s top month of the year for each of the three metrics: occupancy (79.0 per cent), ADR ($185.08) and RevPAR ($146.21).

Among the provinces and territories, British Columbia recorded the largest year-over-year increase in RevPAR (+2.6 per cent to $138.50), due primarily to the largest lift in ADR (+2.6 per cent to $197.40).

Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the highest rise in occupancy (+1.7 per cent to 54.5 per cent) but the steepest declines in ADR (-5.5 per cent to $132.22) and RevPAR (-4.0 per cent to $72.12).

Nova Scotia registered the only other increase in occupancy (+0.7 per cent to 67.9 per cent) but the second-largest decrease in ADR (-2.0 per cent to $146.50).

Alberta saw the largest drop in occupancy (-2.5 per cent to 55.6 per cent), which resulted in the second-steepest decline in RevPAR (-2.6 per cent to $85.43).