In case you missed it, GRCVB released this report to media on May 10.


2021 First Quarter Wake County Tourism Industry Report
Tourism tax collections and KPIs slowly rebounding from COVID-19 pandemic

Raleigh, N.C. – GRCVB has released the Wake County Tourism Industry Report for the first quarter of 2021. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and hotel occupancy tax collections for the hospitality industry in Wake County have remained low due to COVID-19 but are beginning to rebound. Prepared food and beverage collections, however, have increased since this time last year when many restaurants were closed at the end of Q1 2020. The pandemic caused a significant decrease in group, business and leisure travel, hotel occupancy and event cancellations, but numerous indoor and outdoor sporting events have resumed bringing more group visitors to the area.

“The tourism and hospitality sectors are starting to see signs of recovery in Wake County, thanks to youth, collegiate and amateur sporting events safely taking place across the county,” said Dennis Edwards, GRCVB president and CEO. “Leisure travel is beginning to return due to the efficient rollout of vaccines across the state which is helping to build consumer confidence, while business travel will likely begin to rebound in late summer as employees begin to return to the office.”

Below is a full breakdown of the tourism and hospitality industry performance throughout Wake County in the first quarter of 2021. 

Wake County Hospitality Industry KPIs – according to STR:
(Jan. 1 - March 31, 2021)KPI

Due to COVID-19 most key performance indicators for the hospitality industry are still lower than normal through the first quarter of 2021. According to STR through the first quarter, Hotel Occupancy dropped by nearly 25% year-to-date (YTD) over prior year-to-date (PYTD), Average Daily Rate (ADR) decreased by 24% YTD and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) fell more than 42% YTD. These results are comparable to what is happening across the state and on a national level.

Hospitality Industry Tax Collections in 2021:
As a result of lower overnight visitation due to COVID-19, hotel lodging tax collections only totaled $3.626 million, down some 30% YTD over PYTD. However, prepared food and beverage tax collections totaled more than $7.2 million, up over 7% YTD.

Tax collections

Events Hosted in Q1 2021:
During the first quarter of 2021, the destination hosted 15 Bureau-booked conventions, sporting events and groups and welcomed nearly 19,000 attendees. A couple key sporting events positively impacted overnight visitation including:

New Business Booked in Q1 2021:
The first quarter was productive in booking future conventions, sporting events and groups in Wake County as GRCVB/GRSA combined booked 55 groups totaling more than 56,000 hotel room-nights of future business. The Bureau’s collective future bookings from this quarter will create a direct economic impact of $29.7 million.

Future meetings, conventions and sporting events booked during the first quarter include: