First quarter data reveals a positive start to the year in terms of lodging. Occupancy growth during this time period was nearly 4 percent, as compared to less than one percent one year ago. Room rates continue to grow at a slightly higher rate as well (+4 YTD 2014 vs. +3 YTD 2013). North Carolina occupancy was ahead of that of the U.S. and South Atlantic (U.S. +3; South Atlantic +3).
Room demand, perhaps the most significant indicator in terms of visitation growth, grew nearly 5 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014 and has grown 11 percent since Q1 2008. Room demand at the national level grew just under 4 percent during Q1 2014. As shown in the graph below, North Carolina first quarter demand is at a record high of more than 7 million room nights sold. In addition, room revenues for the first quarter topped 6 million, an increase of nearly 9 percent from 2013 and a record high for the first quarter. Room revenues at the U.S. level were up nearly 8 percent during the first quarter and revenues in the South Atlantic Region were up nearly 7 percent.
Regionally, the N.C. lodging industry also continues to post positive numbers in most areas of the state. Room rates are up in each region, particularly the Western (+5.0), Piedmont Triad (+4.7) and North Central Region (+4.2). First quarter demand in the North Central Region was up 8.3 and up 7.9 in the Northwest Region. The Southwest and the Piedmont Triad regions had first quarter demand growth of more than 7 percent as well.
The complete report is available here.