Hotel occupancy remains just over 40%, lost business totals more than $130 million YTD

Raleigh, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2020) – The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh) and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) released today a report detailing the impact that COVID-19 is having on the tourism and hospitality industry throughout Wake County. Included in the report is tax collection data for the month of August as well as the latest hotel performance data for September and updated event cancellation totals.

It’s important to note that Wake County typically draws nearly 18 million visitors annually who spend more than $2.9 billion locally and generate more than $284 million in state and local tax revenue. The visitor economy supports more than 28,000 local jobs in Wake County with a payroll of $836 million and is vital to the overall health of the economy.

Highlights:

  • Hotel lodging tax collections through August 2020 are down ↓ $10.3 million (or 50.8%) over last year.
  • Prepared food and beverage tax collections through August 2020 are down ↓ $5.5 million (or 25.9%) over last year.
  • 281 conventions, meetings and group sporting events cancelled, totaling $135.7 million economic impact.
  • 38 conventions, meetings and group sporting events were rescheduled for a future date, totaling $27.6 million economic impact.
  • More than 117 large-scale events and festivals have been canceled or rescheduled. The City of Raleigh canceled all special events through December 31st.
  • Average hotel occupancy rates across Wake County remain just over 40%.

“With the state of North Carolina now safely in Phase 3 we’re optimistic we’ll continue to see a gradual increase in visitation with most attractions, museums, entertainment venues, restaurants and bars are open in some capacity,” said Dennis Edwards, President and CEO, of Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh). “Consumer confidence remains the main barrier to travel and we’ve launched our Wish You Were Here tourism recovery sales and marketing campaign to help address that.”

Below is a breakdown by sector of the impact COVID-19 has had on the tourism and hospitality industry in Wake County.

Tax Collection Impact:
As a result of the continued lower than normal visitation due to COVID-19 in the month of August, hotel lodging tax collections were down 56% compared to 2019, bringing in just over $1.1 million. Prepared food and beverage (PFB) tax collections were also down 27% in August compared to 2019, bringing in more than $2.1 million.

Month of Aug. 2020:

Aug. Tax Collections

Wake County
(2020)

Wake County
(2019)

Amt. Change

% Change

Hotel Occupancy

$1,155,506

$2,628,075

↓ ($1.4 M)

↓ 56%

Prepared Food
and Beverage

$2,121,245

$2,908,001

↓ ($786 K)

↓ 27%

 

Year-to-date (January 1 through August 31), hotel lodging tax collections totaled more than $9.9 million, down more than 50% YTD over 2019. Prepared food and beverage (PFB) tax collections totaled more than $15.8 million, down 25.9% YTD over 2019.

Year to Date (Jan. through Aug. 2020):

YTD Tax Collections
(Jan. – Aug.)

Wake County
(2020)

Wake County
(2019)

Amt. Change

% Change

Hotel Occupancy

$9,980,676

$20,304,497

↓ ($10.3 M)

↓ 50.8%

Prepared Food and
Beverage

$15,877,982

$21,416,079

↓ ($5.5 M)

↓ 25.9%


Meetings, Conventions and Sporting Events Sector Impact:
Visit Raleigh and GRSA had booked 281 conventions, meetings and group sporting events throughout Wake County that have been canceled, totaling more than 331,000 attendees and resulting in over $135.7 million in total lost economic impact.

KPI

Wake County
(Through 10/11/20)

Meetings, Conventions and Sports Events Cancelled

281

Projected Attendees                         

331,742

Projected Hotel Room-Nights

228,586

Projected Economic Impact Lost

$135.7 M

 

However, working with local hotels, event venues and competition sites, the organization’s sales teams were able to reschedule 38 events, preventing them from canceling outright.

KPI

Wake County
(Through 10/11/20)

Meetings, Conventions and Sporting Events Rescheduled

38

Projected Attendees

67,915

Projected Hotel Room-Nights

51,977

Projected Economic Impact

$27.6 M

 

Note:
These figures represent only business booked by Visit Raleigh/GRSA and are not representative of all events lost within Wake County.


Hotel Sector Impact:
According to STR, Wake County has remained above 40% hotel occupancy throughout the month of August. Group travel to the area has remained minimal, and weekly hotel occupancy throughout Wake County has plateaued around 40-45% throughout September.

Month of Aug. 2020 Overall

KPI

Wake County
(Aug. 2020)

% Change
(Aug. 2020 vs. Aug. 2019)

Occupancy

43.2%

43.1%

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

$80.22

24.9%

Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)

$34.62

57.3%

 

Weeks of Aug. 30-Sept. 26, 2020

KPI

Wake County
This Year

Same Week
Last Year

% Change

Occupancy
(Aug. 30-Sept. 5)

42%

73%

↓ 42.4%

Occupancy
(Sept. 6-12)

40.1%

77.1%

↓ 48%

Occupancy
(Sept. 13-19)

43.7%

82.3%

↓ 47%

Occupancy
(Sept. 20-26)

41.5%

81.5%

↓ 49%

Occupancy
(Sept. 27-Oct. 3)

42.3%

74.6%

↓ 43.3%

 

Interviews with a Visit Raleigh spokesperson can be arranged via phone, video conference or in person. To arrange an interview, please contact Scott Peacock, Director of Public Relations, at 614.551.7981 or speacock@visitRaleigh.com.


About the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh):
As the official destination marketing organization for Wake County, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh), is responsible for promoting Wake County as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of travel, the organization strengthens the economic position of and provide opportunity for people throughout Wake County. Raleigh, N.C./Wake County welcomes nearly 18 million visitors annually whose spending tops $2.9 billion. The visitor economy supports more than 28,000 local jobs in Wake County and generates $284 million in state and local tax revenues, saving each Wake County household $727 in taxes annually. visitRaleigh.com

About the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA):
A division of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh) - the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) markets and promotes Raleigh and all of Wake County in order to generate and/or retain sports-related businesses (tournaments, championships, special events and meetings) for the purpose of economic development. Raleigh, N.C./Wake County welcomes nearly 18 million visitors annually whose spending tops $2.9 billion. The visitor economy supports more than 28,000 local jobs in Wake County and generates more than $284 million in state and local tax revenues, saving each Wake County household $727 in taxes annually. raleighsports.org

Media Contact:
Scott Peacock, Director of Public Relations
614.551.7981
speacock@visitRaleigh.com

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