Southern Oregon hoteliers and innkeepers found May to their liking, seeing year-over-year improvements in most categories measured by Smith Travel Research of Hendersonville, Tenn.
Occupancy rose 1.6 percent to 59.3 percent of capacity last month, while room rates rose to an average of $82.28, up 4.7 percent. Closely watched revenue per available room climbed 6.4 percent to $48.80. Although room supply is down nearly 1 percent, demand rose nearly 1 percent and room revenue grew 5.5 percent to more than $12.4 million.
"We've seen steady growth, and that is what we all definitely want to see," said Anne Jenkins, senior vice president of Travel Medford. "We're growing at a good pace, not growing too fast like we did in the pre-recession years."
She said Medford figures have been steadily on the increase for nearly two years, with only two months of slight retreat.
"The May numbers were great, and I'm predicting good June numbers, as well," she said.
For the year, Southern Oregon occupancy is up 1.6 percent to 59.3 percent of capacity. Room rates are up 3.9 percent, room demand is up 1.8 percent, and revenue grew 5.7 percent to nearly $46 million.
With geopolitical clouds casting a pall over the fuel supply, rising gas rates may have an impact on travel as the summer unfolds.
"I have not seen any specific reports that gas prices are going to have an effect during the summer," Jenkins said. "Gas prices have gone up during the past two or three weeks, so that might slow down people with tight budgets."
Nonetheless, she said, higher fuel costs tend to have a greater impact on other elements of travel than lodging.
"People tend to plan their vacations and go regardless," Jenkins said. "They will cut back in other places, cooking in rather than going out to eat. They've seen gas prices go up before, and they've learned to work with them."