This week, the North Carolina Department of Commerce release updates on statewide and regional travel activity and hotel/motel occupancy. These reports, which include monthly and year-to-date comparisons with prior performance, indicate that travel and lodging activity is improving.
Improving travel and lodging activity are welcome signs for local businesses and governments, especially those parts of the state where tourism and travel are significant shares of their local economic portfolio. For some local governments, increased hotel and motel occupancy also leads to increases in revenue derived from occupancy taxes.
Here are some charts and highlights from these most recent reports:
- Statewide occupancy increased 9.4% in November 2010, compared to November 2009. This rate of increase was higher than nationwide reporting (9.0%)
- Hotel and motel room rates increased 1.3% statewide for the same period, compared to 2.5% nationwide
- Year-to-date 2010 occupancy in North Carolina increased 7% compared to the previous year, a higher rate than nationwide (5.7%) and an average of South Atlantic States (6%)
- In-state, regional occupancy rates and room demand increased, year-to-date as of November 2010, in all North Carolina regions:
- Northeast NC: Occupancy +6.1%, Demand +5.3%
- Southeast NC: Occupancy +8.1%, Demand +10.5%
- Eastern NC: Occupancy +7%, Demand +9.2%
- Carolinas Region: Occupancy +9.4%, Demand +13.4%
- Triad Region: Occupancy +6.5%, Demand +7.9%
- Triangle Region: Occupancy +5.6%, Demand +8.9%
- Western Region: Occupancy +4.6%, Demand +6.5%
- While statewide occupancy and demand is improving compared to 2008 and 2009, they are still below pre-recession high levels achieved in 2006.
For more information, check out the following: