Miami tourism jolt booked for winter
By Scott Blake
Greater Miami's tourism industry is expecting to ride a wave of improved business from last summer into the winter season.
From June through August, the industry enjoyed increases in hotel occupancy rates, room rates and rooms sold compared with summer 2011, according to statistics the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau released this week.
The increases resulted in a jump in revenue per available room, or "revpar," — the hotel industry's key performance measure — to $97.21 during the three-month summer period, up from $92.31 a year earlier.
More increases in occupancy and room rates are expected from October through December, according to projections by two consulting firms and a survey of local hotels. The consultants project that revpar will rise in the fourth quarter to between $121.77 and $124.84, or by 4.5% to 7.2%, compared with the fourth quarter 2011.
In addition, 52% of hoteliers surveyed expect occupancy to increase over the fourth quarter of last year, while 40% expect occupancy to be the same and 8% anticipate a decrease.
Moreover, 77% expect higher room rates in the fourth quarter over last year, while 19% expect flat rates and 4% expect a decrease.
Employment in Miami-Dade County's hospitality sector from June through August averaged 110,800, up slightly from summer 2011, statistics show.
The numbers show local tourism has fully emerged from the recession, said Rolando Aedo, the bureau's vice president of marketing and tourism.
"The pricing power that had been lost through the recession has returned," Mr. Aedo said. "It returned last summer and will continue" in the fourth quarter.
The market, he added, "has basically stabilized."
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