Orlando's Hotel Rates Remain Strong, Occupancy Flat After Q1 2017

Orlando's hotel market had some good and bad things to bring to the table for the first quarter of 2017 — a year that will bring many new theme park additions online.

A Visit Orlando report using STR Inc. data through March shows the overall metro Orlando hotel occupancy rate was 81.4 percent, up slightly from 80.7 percent for same time last year. The area's average daily room rate saw a 3 percent improvement to $133.26 per room per night this year, up from $129.41 during the same three months of 2016.

While the occupancy rate didn't change much, the increase in room rates is a good sign that hotel demand remains strong. Hotels need to have a healthy ratio of occupancy that business is good, but not too filled up that rates can't be adjusted to improve profit.

The data identifies seven submarkets: Orlando North, Orlando Central, Orlando South, International Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Kissimmee East and Kissimmee West.

Of those markets, the Orlando North (80.2 percent occupancy) and Orlando Central (76.2 percent occupancy) submarkets performed the best in terms of occupancy rate with 1.8 percentage point increases in occupancy rates for each. Orlando North consists of hotels in Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Winter Park and some in north Orlando, and the Orlando Central submarket consists of properties in downtown and along State Road 59 from Winter Garden/Ocoee to the University of Central Florida area.

The strongest daily room rate market was Kissimmee East, with a 7.3 percent increase in rates to $97.97, up from $91.27. That market consists of any hotels along the eastern portion of U.S. Highway 192 and St. Cloud.

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Orlando's hotel market always has been strong for the region, thanks to the local theme parks and constant convention business. This year marks to be an interesting one for hoteliers, as all the major theme parks in the region are adding new attractions, including the new Pandora: The World of Avatar addition at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Volcano Bay water park at Universal Orlando Resort and the new Kraken Unleashed at SeaWorld Orlando.

In addition, travel trends remain strong despite some negative impact on flights from overseas carriers like Emirates and weakened travel markets like the decrease in Brazilian tourists' spending habits.

Source: Orlando Sentinel