Hampton Roads hospitality industry is seeing a stronger rebound from the pandemic than the rest of Virginia


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Old Dominion University continues to monitor the hospitality industry in Virginia and across the country.

On Monday, ODU’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy released the most recent monthly hotel data from STR, a global firm that monitors the hospitality industry.

Data shows Hampton Roads saw hotel revenue increase 9% in 2021 compared to 2019. The recovery from the industry’s hit during the pandemic is outpacing the recovery both in Virginia and across the country. The Hampton Roads hospitality industry outperforms the nation’s top 25 markets in metrics such as revenue growth and revenue per available room.

However, Virginia hotel revenue is still 18% lower than in 2019. Northern Virginia and Richmond — the other two markets that make up the bulk of the state’s hotel industry besides Hampton Roads — still record significantly lower income rates. for 2021 compared to 2019. Northern Virginia revenue in 2021 was still 47% lower than in 2019, while Richmond was 4% lower.

Hampton Roads has “more than recovered” from the downturn caused by the pandemic.

“The state’s hospitality industry still has a long way to go before it fully recovers from the pandemic,” the Dragas Center said in a press release Monday. “…Essentially, the Northern Virginia market, which accounted for 43% of revenue generated in the Commonwealth in 2019, is responsible for most of the state’s decline for 2021.”

Room rates in Virginia also decreased in 2021 compared to 2019: the average daily rate for hotel rooms in 2021 was $105, down 7% from the 2019 rate.

Revenue per available room, which experts say is used as an industry standard to gauge the health of the lodging industry, fell to $59, 18% below its 2019 level .

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Rooms sold declined in various Virginia markets, with the exception of the Chesapeake and Suffolk market. Rooms fell 31.4% in Northern Virginia, 8.9% in Charlottesville and 1.4% in Hampton. Chesapeake/Suffolk saw the number of rooms sold increase by 4.9%.

Within Hampton Roads, the Virginia Beach market has seen some success, with revenue growing 21% in 2021 over 2019 rates. drop in income.

“The hospitality industry continues to recover across the Commonwealth and has fully recovered in Hampton Roads,” said Professor Vinod Agarwal of the Dragas Center. “With increased vaccinations, growing consumer confidence and continued pent-up demand for leisure travel, we have seen a significant improvement in hospitality industry performance over 2019 levels, and we expect the The industry will continue its recovery in 2022. Omicron cases, persistent COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths among unvaccinated people also threaten to undermine the pace of recovery.

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