Lodging Forecast: How Long Can Post-Recession Uptick Last?

By LOU HIRSH

Sunday, March 26, 2017

San Diego County’s lodging and tourism industries have been on a tear for the past six years. Can they go for a seventh in 2017?

The local region in 2017 is expected to maintain its highest hotel occupancy levels seen in the last 30 years, at least matching its lodging performance of 2016, according to the latest forecast from San Diego’s RAR Hospitality Inc.

At the LIFE Conference on March 24, CEO Robert Rauch said barring an unforeseen terrorism-related or other “black swan event,” the national tourism economy should remain strong in 2017. The San Diego region’s tourism and lodging fundamentals generally fall in line with what’s happening nationally, and local metrics have generally been improving year-over-year for the last six years straight.

Rauch said the 2017 forecast calls for a regional occupancy rate of 77 percent — on par with 2016 — with an average daily room rate of $160 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) of $123. The room rate and RevPAR numbers, if they come to pass, would both beat 2016 metrics.

According to panelist Alan Reay of Atlas Hospitality, “there are currently no signs of overheating conditions in markets such as downtown San Diego, where several projects meeting pent-up demand were recently completed or are underway.”

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