Expedia study spotlights thriving US independent hotel scene

George Sell By George Sell
28 June 2017 | Updated 12 July 2017

US: Expedia’s Independents Day study has revealed that independent hotels enjoy higher ADR and faster growth than their branded counterparts.

Responding to data from STR which revealed that 'unbranded' properties had greater overall average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) than their branded hotel counterparts.

Expedia looked at its Q1 2017 data to "shed light on the continued rise of independents in 2017, and offer tips for independent properties to best leverage this momentum".

The Expedia data showed that "independents continued to excel on ADR versus branded properties, and in addition, travellers spent more per night at independent hotels than at branded properties during the time. Independent properties not only averaged higher ADRs than branded properties, but the ADR growth for independents has also doubled the pace of branded ADRs since Q1 2014".

Mark Morrison, Expedia's vice president of owner services, said: "Online marketplaces have helped independent hotels gain access to a global travel audience, and insight tools, that in the past, were more exclusively advantages for brands. Couple this with the massive rise in desire for travel and experiences among both international and domestic travellers, and the ease with which travellers can now discover and book hotels, and we're seeing a democratisation based on visibility, quality, unique selling attributes, and traveller needs."

The top volume destinations for independents, based on room nights, in Q1 2017 were Las Vegas, Manhattan, Miami, Orlando and Los Angeles.

These markets reveal trends in independent growth:
• Las Vegas independent properties saw fast-growing ADRs up more than 10 per cent year- over-year (YOY), driven by international customers, who have a 25 per cent higher ADR versus domestic travellers.
• Manhattan similarly paced well in ADRs, with average prices up low single digits YOY, while branded properties saw a low single digits decline in prices.
• Miami properties saw a notable decline in cancellation rates (more than 10 per cent YOY), and hoteliers filled rooms well in advance of stays, with an average booking window of almost 30 days.
• Orlando also saw an increase in booking window average, along with a decline in cancellation rates of five per cent YOY.
• Los Angeles independents showed ADR growth of more than five per cent, which is more than double that of branded properties.

Smaller markets are also booming for independents. Top growing independent destinations for Q1 2017, with a minimum of 5,000 room night stays, were:
• Central Valley North, CA - an increase of nearly 110 per cent YOY
• Rochester, MN - up just around 80 per cent YOY
• Prescott, AZ - up nearly 75 per cent YOY
• Kauai, HI - an almost 65 percent increase YOY
• Charlottesville, VA - up just around 65 per cent YOY

To read the full report, click here.

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