Study: Hotel industry in Hampton Roads sees improvement in 2021

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A recent study claims that the hotel industry in Virginia and in Hampton Roads is starting to recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Old Dominion University’s Dragas Center examined the latest metrics from STR, a global firm that provides insights into the hospitality industry, and found that hotel revenues and rooms sold increased in 2021.

Hotel revenues and rooms sold increased by 223% and 141% in Virginia for April 2021 when compared to April 2020. However, the data did not do well compared to 2019 with revenues and rooms sold were 36% and 19% below the levels seen in April of that year.

The Average Daily Rate (ADR) paid for hotel rooms in April 2021 stood at $92.72, a 34% increase from April 2020 but a decline of 20% compared to April 2019.

Likewise, Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR), an industry-standard of the health of the lodging sector, rose to $52.42, but it was 36% lower compared to its April 2019 level. Hotel revenues in April 2021 increased by more than 150% in every major metropolitan area of the commonwealth compared to April 2020, the early days of the pandemic.

Revenues increased 296%  in the Hampton Roads market. During March 2021, revenues had fallen 62% in that same market.

Rooms sold during the latest month increased by 134% in the Hampton Roads market. Williamsburg fared better than other submarkets in Hampton Roads with rooms sold increased by 520%.   

Within the Hampton Roads market, hotel revenue increased in March by:

  • 1,355% in Williamsburg 
  • 446% in Virginia Beach
  • 220% in Norfolk/Portsmouth
  • 142% in Chesapeake/Suffolk and
  • 134% in Newport News/Hampton

Rooms sold increased by:

  • 179% in Virginia Beach
  • 126% in Norfolk/Portsmouth
  • 81% in Chesapeake/Suffolk
  • 73% in Newport News/Hampton

Professor Vinod Agarwal of the Dragas Center said he expects the industry to continue its recovery each month through the end of 2021.

“With increasing vaccinations, declining COVID-19 infections, rising consumer confidence, and easing restrictions, we have seen significant improvement in the performance of the hotel industry over the 2020 levels.”

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