Conventions Bush Appearance Push Miamidade Hotel Occupancy Above 01 Levels
By Frank Norton
miami launches search for downtown convention center site conventions, bush appearance push miami-dade hotel occupancy above ’01 levels most florida tourism markets look farther away for visitors, bypass state’s $16 million potential 55-acre miami storage yard under contract for housing, retail projects miami-dade plans to sell rights to county’s beverage vending prime brickell office site being sold for residential use despite free parking options, miami wants to buy land, build garage calendar of events fyi miami filming in miami front page about miami today put your message in miami today contact miami today job opportunities research our files the online archive order reprints conventions, bush appearance push miami-dade hotel occupancy above ’01 levelsBy Frank Norton
Hotel occupancy in Miami-Dade County exceeded last year’s same-week level for the first time since Sept. 11.
Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research reported occupancy at 64.1% for the week ended June 8, 9.9% above last year’s same-week figure of 58.3%.
Rolando Aedo, vice president of marketing and tourism for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, attributed the spike to a flood of bookings for two major conventions held just before June 8.
International Nortel Networks Meridian Users Group and the American Advertising Federation brought conventions to Miami Beach that week for the first time. And former President George Bush was Nortel’s keynote speaker.
"We are careful to temper the news of the increase knowing there are a lot variables that can dramatically affect the outcome," Mr. Aedo said. "There could be a major convention in town driving up levels and, in fact, that was the case."
Despite the reasons for the jump, Mr. Aedo said, it indicates the county’s general rebound toward last year’s visitor levels and will be welcome news to hotel and tour operators.
"We have been making week-by-week comparisons as part of our recovery gauging since Sept. 11," he said. "That increase is part of a broader trend. The conventions produced the fairly radical jump. But still, those are two nice pieces of business that weren’t here before."
The average hotel room rate was down 1.8% for the week from a year ago while revenue per available room increased 7.9%, Smith’s figures show.
Airline flight arrivals – which bring in most guests – remained down about 11% from last year, while the number of incoming passengers was off 6.9%. Both have risen sharply since fall.