Hotels in the Florida Panhandle market saw a 36.1% increase in demand between 11 October and 20 October following Hurricane Michael's U.S. landfall.
BROOMFIELD, Colorado—Following Hurricane Michael, markets in Florida hit hardest by the storm reported double-digit increases in demand (room nights sold) and revenue per available room (RevPAR), according to an analysis by STR’s Consulting & Analytics office.
When looking at the 10-day period (11 October through 20 October) after Hurricane Michael made landfall, the Florida Panhandle market saw a 36.1% increase in demand. Typically, markets will see demand drop ahead of a major storm due to evacuations, but the Florida Panhandle reported only a 5.1% decrease in demand when the initial warning was issued on 8 October.
Markets in other states affected by the storm also reported demand growth during the 10-day post-storm period. The Alabama South market saw a 21.5% increase in the metric, while the Georgia South market registered an 11.0% increase in room nights sold.
Historically, the state that endures the most significant impact from a storm will see an increase in demand during post-storm recovery efforts. However, when looking at performance at the state level, Florida reported decreases in both occupancy and demand.
“The Florida data reflects the comparison with the post-Hurricane Irma time period in Central and Southern Florida last year,” said Emmy Hise, STR’s senior consultant. “A month after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida, strong demand was still visible in the state. Now, one year later, demand appears to be dropping, but it is actually at a normal level when factoring in the significant demand growth from the previous year.”
As expected, with the exception of the Albany/Southwest, GA submarket, the highest year-over-year RevPAR increases took place in the Florida Panhandle submarkets. The most significant decreases in the Florida submarkets were mainly due to inflated demand from the previous year.
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