Expert: Hospitality industry in Greater Houston area rebounding but not recovered

Hotels across the Greater Houston area continue to struggle even as businesses reopen and individuals return to work amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Hotels across the Greater Houston area continue to struggle even as businesses reopen and individuals return to work amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Hotels across the Greater Houston area continue to struggle even as businesses reopen and individuals return to work amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Hotels across the Greater Houston area continue to struggle even as businesses reopen and individuals return to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotels in Harris and Montgomery counties averaged less than 50% occupancy in early June, according to data from STR, a global hospitality industry analytics company.


Ali Hoyt, STR’s senior director of consulting and analytics, said occupancy rates have been climbing slowly in the Greater Houston area as well as nationally. STR has also seen an uptick in Friday and Saturday bookings, signaling a return of weekend leisure travel, Hoyt said.

"We were encouraged by the fact that these numbers are improving," she said. "That's still to say there's still a long road to recovery across the world as well as the U.S. as we continue to climb back out of this."


Hotels in Harris County had an average occupancy rate of 23.2% between March 29-April 18 and an average of 37.5% occupancy in the week ending June 6. However, the occupancy rate is a 39.9% change over the same time last year, down from 62.5% occupancy rate.


Montgomery County hotels are rebounding at a faster rate than Harris County hotels. STR data shows that occupancy rates across Montgomery County dipped as low as 20.7% occupancy the week ending March 29 but then slowly increased each week.

As of the week ending June 6, Montgomery County's occupancy rate is up to 45.9%, a 26.6% change from last year's occupancy rate of 62.6%.


Overall, Hoyt said STR is also predicting a slow increase for hotels in revenue per available room composed of average daily room rates, which are also down, and occupancy rates. She said STR is predicting a 57.7% decline in revenue made per room for 2020.

"For next year, we're forecasting a pretty significant rebound but still not reaching where the industry ended in 2019," she said. "With the severe decline that we saw over the last couple of months, it's going to be a long road to recovery."
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.