Wow: Florida Resort Revenue Up 36.1% Compared To 2019

Filed Under: Travel

We know that domestic travel is booming, and that we’re seeing an incredible number of people traveling to Florida. So while hotels in Florida are doing better than hotels just about anywhere else, how do those numbers compare to 2019 levels?

Florida resorts did ridiculously well in March

Travel Weekly reports that resorts in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina reported significantly better financial performance in March 2021 compared to March 2019, pre-pandemic. I’m focusing on Florida here because Florida is in the news most, and is also the state with the most resorts.

Comparing data from March 2021 to March 2019:

  • Occupancy increased by 5%
  • Average daily rates (ADR) increased by 29.6%; this measures the average income per occupied room
  • When you combine those factors, these resorts saw a 36.1% increase in revenue

Booking trends for summer are also looking excellent:

  • As of March 31, hotels in these states are seeing a 15.7% increase in on-the-books occupancy between March and August, compared to the same six month period in 2019
  • The ADR for these properties is also set to increase by 22.3%

So yes, resorts in Florida haven’t just recovered, but are quite literally doing better than ever before.

Revenue at Florida resorts is up 36.1% compared to 2019

Those numbers are better than I expected

I have to be honest, I’m somewhat surprised by these numbers. Obviously I know so many people are headed to Florida because the state is open, so I’m not surprised to see that occupancy is beyond 2019 levels.

What does surprise me, though, is how much rates are up. The average daily rate paid is up nearly 30% compared to 2019 levels, so that’s pretty amazing. My general assumption has been that luxury hotels are charging more than they did in 2019 (given limited inventory and pent up demand for travel), but I hadn’t assumed that this was the case across the board to this extent.

I think much of the hotel industry is in for a great summer, at least in places that are open. There’s so much desire to travel, and the places that are accessible will be packed.

I didn’t think ADR would be up as much as it is

Yet hotels continue to offer limited service…

We’ve seen hotels cut all kinds of service during coronavirus, initially as safety precautions, and then probably also partly to cut costs. Hilton’s CEO has made it clear that the hotel industry will never be the same, and many of the service cuts we’re seeing now are permanent. In the future expect hotels to not offer as many amenities as in the past, and not to be as well staffed.

Perhaps Florida is the first place where these changes are fully evident:

  • There are virtually no coronavirus restrictions in Florida, so it’s not like hotels are offering limited service for safety; they’ll gladly sell hotels to 100% occupancy, and there are no caps on anything
  • Florida can’t play the “struggling hotel industry” card, since the industry is doing 36%+ better than it was pre-coronavirus

So if you stay at a hotel in Florida now and notice that service isn’t like it was pre-coronavirus, expect that to just be a reflection of the new normal.

Florida hotels can’t really blame limited service on coronavirus

Bottom line

I knew resorts in Florida were doing better than elsewhere, but I’m amazed that revenue for March 2021 was up 36%+ compared to March 2019. That’s incredible. And it’s not just revenue that’s up, but costs are way down as well, thanks to permanent cuts we’re seeing at many hotels right now.

I suppose it’s a good time to own a resort in Florida…

Are you surprised that revenue at Florida resorts is up so much compared to the same period pre-coronavirus?

  1. The cuts in service are permanent for now. Don’t expect restoration anytime soon. For example we are still taking our shoes off at airports all these years later an no one really complains.

  2. Mirrors trends in residential property prices. Friends and family from North East coming to visit people who have moved to Florida and are never moving back (at least not full time). NYC, keep believing you’re the center of the world. For many of my new neighbors and the friends that visit them, it just ain’t so.

  3. Hopefully eventual competition between the brands will bring back some of the services that have been lost. If one company starts offering better facilities/services and customers flock to them, others will have to follow to regain the business!

  4. Lived in Florida. Lived in NYC. Would take the city over mosquito & cockroach-invested sweaty heat any day. And “Florida man” didn’t become a meme for nothing.

  5. I guess DeSantis’ free for all approach has been good for business. Of course, it has also led to unnecessary COVID outbreaks and high death rates for those returning to their home states (e.g., Michigan).

  6. Intra-US leisure travel has to be well above 2019 levels.

    TSA screenings are 50-60% of 2019 levels with almost no international, and much less business travel.

  7. Thank you Governor DeSantis! Florida has been the brightest spot in the US in the past year now. Love coming down there and help contribute to their economy. Always a pleasure with friends/family

  8. @ Ben — I hope our visit to see family in Florida next week is the last one for 2021. I look forward to spending more time in CA and NYC, away from all of these idiots.

  9. Florida benefits from the CDC’s requirement for testing on return from foreign countries. The tourism “premium” won’t last forever but it has helped Florida grow its economy during the pandemic, something most states certainly can’t say.

    Florida’s relative absence of covid restrictions doesn’t mean that people should act irresponsible. Florida for some people right now is like the apple tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden.

    Hotels will return to competing for service when it becomes necessary to do so to maintain revenues. In Florida right now, it isn’t necessary.

  10. Not only hotels and resorts. AirBnB and VRBO properties are also at least 20% more expensive than 2020, which was already more expensive than previous years.
    AND most properties are already booked solid for the whole summer.

  11. Anyone who said opening things would be bad because no one would come was clearly wrong

    Lockdowns have shown to be a huge mistake overall.

  12. I would be a little reluctant to read a lot into this other than to scorn the fact that these hotels are open but not back to business as usual in so many ways.

    Easter (and Passover) in 2019 was not until late April. This pushes a lot of school holidays back from March — so not sure the comparison if fully apples to apples.

    This year Easter was a lot earlier and Passover before that. So I think you have a compounding effect of pent up demand from lots of folks sitting around the last year, their inability to easily travel internationally in many circumstances, plus a seasonality effect from the holidays that shifted travel to earlier in the calendar year. I would be interested to see how April compares.

  13. @Fly Guy – Look at the daily case spikes in Michigan, New York, New Jersey, etc. that have occurred over the past few weeks. This was preceded by a massive surge of tourists from the Northeast and Midwest flocking to Florida in March, being extremely lax with mask wearing or social distancing. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to correlate the data. Of course, due to poor contract tracing, we’re never going to have each individual identifying Florida as the source, which is what you seem to require from your side.

  14. @SFO Flyer. Please up your game – correlations vs causality. Zero substantiation for your causation claim. Guess non-rocket scientists like yourself have taken over study of epidemiology from actual scientists. Might explain of America’s inept response to COVID. Pot; Meet Kettle.

  15. Massive pent up demand for warm beach destinations combined with international restrictions and the risk of testing covid positive on any international return after Jan 26 is what led to Florida being inordinately popular for the white privileged conservatives who didn’t care about there being no mask requirements and/or people who care about social distancing. Those white privileged selfish and ignorant fools flocked from all over the USA to Florida — and likely brought back plenty of covid infection hotspots for their home states, as well.

    The only other warm weather beach destinations in the USA — Puerto Rico and Hawaii — dared to responsibly require negative covid tests and enforced mask and social distancing mandates and weren’t nearly as popular for the same ignorant people.

    Such IG norance and selfishness allowed Florida resorts to finally thrive in the spring as a result. Even as those same selfish white privileged jerks dared to whine that the resorts weren’t offering the same levels of service and amenities because the resorts still were trying to recover massive lost revenues from a year’s worth of missed occupancy. I call that karma.

  16. @SFO – apologies for not being clear. I would like to see actual data that proves your point. Cherry picking states that follow your narrative is not science. For example, Iowa hasn’t had any increases in months. Do people from Iowa not travel to Florida?

    You may disagree with the policies of Florida, however please refrain from spreading misinformation. It’s in society’s best interest.

  17. @FlyGuy – You mean like the misinformation coming from Florida in not reporting the true COVID statistics? You can Google articles on this if you don’t believe me.

    Stop trying to discount science to support your political agenda, like Jim Jordan and Rand Paul have attempted to do with Fauci.

  18. @ Bill. You are truly a special character to gather all those points from the comfort of your basement. An expert on Puerto Rican mask wearing patterns, impressive. All the enlightened states and cities, like the one we are all certain you live in, could have required testing on return from the dangerous swamps of FL. How many opted to implement such enlightened requirements?

  19. @miamiorbust Puerto Rico requires a negative covid test within 72 hrs of arrival, or one is required to quarantine for 10 days — much like Hawaii. So Puerto Rico wasn’t as popular for selfish and ignorant fools like you who pretend there’s no covid pandemic danger. California and Hawaii require masks in public and indoors, unlike Florida, so we likely are in better shape than Florida, Texas, and/or any other Gulf states that prefer to ignore the obviously prudent public health recommendations to mitigate the pandemic and minimize viral transmission.

    Ignorance. Selfishness. Entitlement. They’re not pretty, but you’re doing your best to try.

  20. @ SFO Flyer. You couldn’t come up with even a single point to validate your argument and revert to disinformation claims and name calling? Once again, please up your game or go away. Ben’s point was more people came to Florida than in prior years. That’s actually been happening for at least 20 years. Like it or not, that means congressional delegation from your state will likely shrink and the people you enjoy belittling will have a bigger share of federal voting power. Sweet dreams.

  21. @SFO – I’m trying to have an open mind and be convinced of your point, but you have yet to provide one piece of evidence that proves that the spread of covid in the Midwest are tied to people traveling to Florida. When I go to Google, I see that Iowa and Nebraska, both in the Midwest, have no growth. It just feels like your fishing here. Though, again, if you can provide for me evidence, I come bearing an open mind.

  22. I think the cuts in service are staff related. The hospitality industry just can’t find good help atm.

  23. @ Bill, in fairness much of population of Puerto Rico is already in South Florida at this point. Wonderful neighbors. Appreciate your thoughts. Fl isn’t perfect but few people here claim to be trying very hard (I have time to post all these responses). Come if you want. Or don’t. most of us really don’t care. Not paying state taxes so not that stretched for cash.

  24. @FlyGuy – No, you’re definitely not keeping an open mind. You’re dead set that COVID is a non-issue and dismiss any claims otherwise, in an attempt to support your political agenda. You know full well that due to poor contact tracing, we cannot directly tie individual cases en masse, only look at the data in aggregate. No amount of scientific evidence is going to change your mind, so I’m just pointing out your true colors.

  25. @ Bill . You must be one of those people who’s angry about others living their lives and traveling. You’re right, we need to be more like you. We need to stay in our basements forever, with double masks and a shield. It’s science! Anyone who disagrees is a capital rioting trump loving Florida NAZI

  26. Not to interrupt a comment war over covid restrictions, but as someone who works in the workforce world, I have to tell you that some of the reason we’ll see limited service is they simply don’t have & can’t get the staff. Many of these positions are lower-wage jobs & when those people got laid off they moved on to other things, even more as still hanging out on the sidelines due to the extended unemployment. Some of the new hires at these places are going to get overwhelmed with demanding, entitled tourists who are yelling at them about either having to/ or not being required to wear masks & say to hell with this & quit. It’s going to be a loooonnnnng summer for anyone at the front lines of hospitality.

  27. One wonders how much survivor bias there is in the number. A number of conference-oriented resorts (e.g. The Diplomat) haven’t reopened, so are the figures based on resorts which are open now?

    The decreased service is for now a reflection of an unbelievably tight labor market at the lower end of the wage scale, and hotels for now not being willing to increase wages.

    The brands at this point aren’t interested in enforcing standards: they all have enough business travel dependent properties that enforcing the standard across the board would severely dent the footprint. In travel, if it’s domestic leisure, 2021 is a banner year, everything else is a pit of despair.

  28. Anyone want to jump and give @ SFO Flyer a hand? He’s getting pummeled and could use a moment to come up for air. He’s moved on to divining another person’s true colors. Bold tactic. Interesting to see where this goes.

  29. Hawaii and PR are islands – just like Australia and NZ and Taiwan etc.
    Controlling infectious disease is a whole different business in regions like the continental US and continental Europe that have never been able to fully shut their borders.

    Florida didn’t attempt to do what was impossible and gained financially while meeting people’s desire to travel and escape the north.

  30. @SFO – Instead of lobbing insults, explain Iowa and Nebraska vs Michigan. You seem very keen on telling me I don’t have an open mind, yet you keep avoiding the exact point that leaves me skeptical. Help me to better understand the situation vs trying to determine who I vote for and then insulting me based on that information. I don’t deny Covid, I’m just skeptical of your claims because, there is nothing to substantiate it.

  31. @Sam I don’t begrudge anyone living their lives — unless their actions threaten the lives and livelihoods of people around them. We are a civilized society, and civilization means there are rules in place to protect others — even when you find them inconvenient due to your own entitlement and selfishness. I have traveled during the pandemic, but I’ve done it responsibly by wearing masks and social distancing in public — and with covid tests as required.

    If the shoe fits on being a selfish, entitled ignoramus, one should wear it. You wear it proudly. Florida wears it proudly, which is but one in a long list of reasons I generally avoid that state, of course.

  32. To those saying the cuts are permanent, and in response to Lucky’s sentiment that it’s just the new normal for hotels to not offer as many amenities as in the past, and not to be as well staffed – that’s just not the way competition works. The last year has been a race to the bottom on amenities, and staffing shortages have been driven by external forces, but we’ll quickly get back to a point where hotels compete on quality of service offering. For example, Hyatt Place (not to pick on them, necessarily) might be able to get away with reduced breakfast offerings now, but that just leaves an opening for Hilton Garden Inn to grab market share. And Embassy Suites is not going to make it in their family-centric market segment if they don’t go back to doing breakfasts the way they did — folks will stay elsewhere for less or go where the service justifies the price.

  33. @Bill,

    Can you make a logical comment without adding an insult? If so your argument would carry more seriousness! All the vast amounts of people I have transported to and from Florida throughout the pandemic have been off all shapes, sizes and colors wearing political adornments from both sides of the political debate (from Maga gear to BLM pins), some wearing one mask to the whole paper disposable chemical warfare getup. Obviously you have not been traveling or you would see this yet you apparently still feel free to comment, which is your right but entirely disingenuous! But your comments kind of make that fairly clear!

  34. I have a feeling there will be a ton of lounges that never return, unless business travel really comes back to prior levels. The hotels won’t be able to get away with the limited breakfast much longer. The doggy bag of a yogurt, stale muffin and string cheese is disgusting.

  35. @Dan777 Obviously, you’re projecting. I have traveled plenty: to San Diego, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and most recently Maui during the pandemic period. My argument carries seriousness whether you like the way I deliver it or not — your red herring distraction, notwithstanding.

    False equivalency allows stupidity and conspiracy nonsense to thrive for the less informed and less intelligent. My pronouncements and argument aren’t made in a vacuum. But the overwhelming bulk of people coming for vacation in Florida are exactly as I characterized even as there also are plenty of others who aren’t that ignorant or selfish. Try again.

  36. @Bill,

    But you haven’t travelled to Florida now have you? I have flown several dozens of flights to Florida in the last year, I feel like I would have a better read on the passenger makeup than you (and it’s far from the demographic you claim). That’s not projection, just personal experience…. projection, twisting and distraction is what you are doing….let go of your hate, it’s not healthy!

  37. California is more disastrous than any other state, doomed small businesses and long death row.

  38. @Dan777 Your anecdotes aren’t any better than mine. Fortunately, my information comes not from personal anecdotes but from innumerable reports of thousands of elites from Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and luxury travel groups and blogs — not to mention innumerable reports from across the entire media spectrum. Try again. You’re in denial.

    The overwhelming bulk of travelers to Florida have ignored mask mandates, ignored social distancing, and don’t worry about the lack of any mask mandate or enforcement of social distancing at hotels and resorts. Or most wouldn’t be there. #FactsMatter #TheTruthHurts

  39. @Bill

    As an airline worker my anecdotes day in and day out traveling across the country on a daily basis are probably more valid than your limited sources which I’m sure is influenced by your confirmation bias. I’m living it, you are not. But I’m encouraged you were able to dispense with the insults on that last post!

  40. @ Bill, C’mon, man. Venture more than 10 miles from torrey pines and San Diego may as well be South FL’s favorite cousin. We’re really much more alike than we are different. Time to get with the program and be a little more inclusive. Del Mar and Coral Gables are both lovely with nice cultural infrastructure.

  41. @Bill sounds like he hates himself as much as he hates everyone else. He complains about Florida but gladly travels anywhere else, despite the CDC guidelines he most likely cherishes.

    The haters all said Texas and Florida would be doomed when they fully opened. They haven’t been. The doom sayers like @Bill are besides themselves now trying to figure this out.

    As a Californian who lives in a state that is still largely closed and kids out of school, I’m glad Texas and Florida have proven us and New York wrong for our leaders poor choices. That’s OK though, because Newsom is getting recalled and Cuomo is getting impeached.

  42. @Bill,

    I’m out there flying, working, in hotels every other night. My “anecdotal” first hand evidence is indeed much more valid and relevant than your “reports”. I’m living it! Again your characterization of the travelers too and from Florida is way off base, that’s all I’m saying…. could you at least be open to that possibility?

  43. To those bickering with strangers over the internet all day long: imagine what you could have accomplished today if you’d simply ignored an ignorant comment from someone whose mind you will never change. Could you have played with your kids? Done a load of laundry? Finished something at work? Traded some dogecoin? What a waste all around. And it really clogs up the comment section for those of us who actually want to comment on the substance of the post.

    tl;dr: GET A LIFE.

  44. Guys, DeSantis running for 2024 is not even in the rumor mill yet. Let’s all just relax and stop the assailing and generalizing. Some of y’all are so tense, maybe all you need is a vacation in Florida.

  45. @ Evan. It’s Friday. I’m in Florida. These posts put me solidly in upper half of my neighborhood in terms of human productivity.

  46. Wow people will disposable income (usually higher educated than general population) have determined that the covid risks are way overblown especially to anyone with no underlying conditions and they decided they want to resume a normal life. Who could have guessed that? Meanwhile millions of people in Florida got the option to go to work and earn a living because they werent shutdown or under a lockdown. What a novel concept giving people the freedom to choose how they live their lives…

  47. Every anti-Texas and Florida person goes on the internet and complains that Texas and FL are ruining this country, meanwhile as they are typing they say “honey did you check Zillow? Anything good hit the market today in Austin or Orlando that we should see?”

  48. @Bill wow! You’re so detailed with your analysis! You must live in Florida, or have completed weeks of research on the situation here the last few months!

    “Florida being inordinately popular for the white privileged conservatives who didn’t care about there being no mask requirements”

    You nailed it! It was ONLY white male MAGA conservatives everywhere causing these problems! They were the only ones causing all of the nonsense seen in the viral videos on Miami Beach….

    “The overwhelming bulk of travelers to Florida have ignored mask mandates, ignored social distancing, and don’t worry about the lack of any mask mandate or enforcement of social distancing at hotels and resorts. Or most wouldn’t be there. #FactsMatter #TheTruthHurts”

    Ahhh five comments later and you finally get rid of the racist undertones, but still keep lying out of your rear end. Keep it up!

    That all being said, we’d love to have you come visit (unless you’re a white conservative. Hey! Don’t get upset! Those are your rules, not mine). And btw, our restaurants are open for ALL, not just our governor 😉

  49. Bill,
    You are totally clueless when you are describing the tourists that come to FL. I live in South Beach, and I believe I have a better idea than you when it comes to who visits FL. Just go for a walk on Ocean Drive and take a look at those “ignorant” tourists who are refusing to social distance. Yes, there are plenty of them, but they are not the one you describe as “white privileged conservatives”.

  50. Gene,
    I think you are right….you do need to be in CA or NY…you could not be more correct about that.

  51. The amount of leftists in the comments foaming at the mouth for the FL numbers.. because hey, lefties love lies and hate numbers!.

  52. Leftists like Bill and SFO Flyer are authoritarian Puritans at heart.

    Mencken’s definition of Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

    Maybe they should consider the fact that anyone who got infected with SARS-CoV-2 was spending extended time in a poorly ventilated space in close proximity with someone who was infected? That in itself is a choice, so the infected are not necessarily blameless.

    Get busy living or get busy dying. L-I-V-I-N.

  53. @Bill has gone quiet. Imagine being so delusional that you proudly admit you’ve traveled to Hawaii, a state where the majority of locals don’t even WANT tourists, and then complain about the “white priveleged” who choose to travel to wide open and happy Florida. I feel bad he projects his pent up anxiety and COVID anger into a state, its government, its visitors, and its residents.

  54. Bill is a nut! Obviously from his posts full of hate and vitriol, repulsive to honest people of all but the very edge of political spectrum. I encourage everyone to look at his posts. He accepts no nuance or views other than his absolute truth, hair triggered to attack all who oppose him, the very definition of marxist leftist! Most of us are reasonable and somewhere in the middle of the politics and are respectful of many different opinions. He is an outlier, the rest of us can still disagree without being disagreeable, graceful and courteous and willing to learn from each other without dismissing and insulting people with differing opinions. Essentially the opposite of Bill.

  55. Blli says “Those white privileged selfish and ignorant fools flocked from all over the USA to Florida — and likely brought back plenty of covid infection hotspots for their home states, as well. ” The racist ignores all the black and brown folk who also flocked down here and had big parties and gatherings with no masks. And it is the black and brown folk who were less likely to have been vaccinated and thus more at risk. Selfishness and ignorance are pretty much colorblind.

  56. Alohadave,

    Like I and many people have told Bill (first hand), it’s people of all colors, stripes and politics coming to Florida for a break from the covid restrictions, in general everyone wears their masks inside and respects social distancing yet still manages to have a good time. But his “sources” tell him something different…. that every airplane is filled nothing but irresponsible white conservative insurrectionists, and no one can tell him anything different! Bill need our help to change, pray for Bill!

  57. a friend of mine is vacationing in miami rn and her snapchat stories are insane-packed clubs and beach parties like pre-pandemic. guess florida is …. being florida lol.

  58. Canadian here … been living in Florida for the past two months. It’s been a really, really, really great place to be and do business. People here from all walks of life getting back to normal. I’m really grateful this state is open for business.

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