Atlanta is living up to its nickname, Hotlanta. Statistics indicate that the Greater Atlanta meeting and hotel market is hot.
Convention Bookings Are Up
Atlanta is a premiere convention destination in the South, and convention bookings in the destination are up. Reports indicate that from January to April, 2015, Atlanta has met or exceeded its target pace. In May and September, 2014, the city actually exceeded its target pace percentage by 143% and 132%, respectively.
Gazing toward the future, the eight-year projection for bookings from March 2015 onward indicates a robust convention market. With the exception of 2020, the number of definite room nights has outpaced the target pace in every year.
Hotel Market Looks Strong
In Hotel News Now, Paul Breslin and Hanjie Tang report that the Greater Atlanta hotel market has strongly rebounded from the recent economic downturn and is demonstrating solid growth—showing increases in occupancy, room rates and per-room revenue. They point out from April 2014 to April 2015, RevPAR in Atlanta has grown 10.7%, rates have increased 5.6% and occupancy is up 4.8%. The market is experiencing strong growth in both economy and upscale properties.
According to STR, the Atlanta market features 792 properties with 94,118 rooms. April 2015 figures from STR show Atlanta’s year-to-date occupancy rate is 71.2%; ADR is $96.70; and RevPAR is $68.83. All three metrics indicate improvement over 2014, with 4.8% growth in occupancy, 5.6% growth in ADR and 10.7% growth in RevPAR.
Breslin and Tang also point out that over the past few years, the growth of demand for hotel rooms in Atlanta has outpaced the growth of supply. According to STR data, the market’s RevPAR growth rate was 13.1% in 2014. This strong growth is forecasted to continue in 2015, with year-end RevPAR predicted to show at $67.06.
Transient travelers account for approximately 60% of room sales in Atlanta, according to STR. Group demand has fluctuated; showing monthly growths of nearly 30% in 2012 and drops of close to 20% in 2013. In general, group sales make up approximately 36% of Atlanta’s room sales.
Other Key Indicators
As Breslin and Tang report, other key indicators signify healthy growth in Atlanta. From 2011 to 2014, population in the city increased by 1.5%, 1.3% and 1.6%, respectively, according to the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate decreased from 8.8% to 7.8% and to 6.8% from 2012 to 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Moreover, the city’s gross domestic product, total personal income and per capita personal income all grew three years in a row from 2010 to 2013.
When people speak of Hotlanta, they are usually referring to active nightlife or the warm summer temperatures in Georgia’s premiere city. For planners, however, Hotlanta has meaning as a happening destination for meetings and conventions.