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Vancouver hotels priciest, most filled in Canada in February

Hotel room prices across Metro Vancouver increased 6.2 per cent year-over-year in February — a higher jump than in most Canadian cities.
The Exchange Hotel is at the corner of Howe and West Pender streets

Metro Vancouver hotel rooms in February were on average more expensive and more filled than those in any other major market in Canada, according to CoStar, a global provider of real estate data, analytics and news.

Vancouver's metropolitan region saw a 73.5-per-cent hotel-occupancy rate, down from 74.6 per cent in February 2023. That rate was good enough to beat out hotel-occupancy rates that were 66.9 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), 62.5 per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau and 57.8 per cent in Montreal.

The average $213.37 price tag for a Metro Vancouver hotel room in February was also the highest among Canada's major markets, CoStar data show. That price compares with $208.48 in Toronto, $192.47 in Ottawa and $187.81 in Montreal.

Vancouver's hotel room prices are rising faster than those in many Canadian cities. Its average February rate was up 6.2 per cent, compared with February 2023. In contrast, the average GTA hotel room price was only up 2.6 per cent. Hotel room rates in Canada's third and fourth priciest metro regions, Ottawa and Montreal, fell year-over-year.

The trend across Canada was for lower occupancy rates and higher prices than were seen in February 2023.

Overall, Canadian hotel occupancy in February was 58 per cent, down 1.6 percentage points from 59.6 per cent in the same month one year ago, CoStar noted.

The average daily room rate for Canadian hotels, however, was up more than 3.8 per cent to $181.55, from $174.85 in February 2023. 

The end result was that Canadian hoteliers enjoyed an average $105.37 in revenue per room night, up from $103.11 in revenue from each available room per night in the same month one year earlier.

Laura Baxter, CoStar Group’s director of hospitality analytics for Canada, said hotel occupancy across Canada fell for the third consecutive month. 

"A greater decline in the metric occurred over the weekends as opposed to weekdays, suggesting that leisure travellers continue to reel in discretionary spending," she said. "Meanwhile, weekday occupancy was only marginally below last February, indicating that business travel is not pulling back to the same degree."

Hotel-room price growth continues to outpace inflation, although the gap between the two measures has narrowed, she said.

"While group occupancy was down, group rates grew at a healthy pace year-over-year," Baxter said. "The segment is becoming more lucrative and prevalent as group demand continues its recovery to pre-pandemic levels.”

Hoteliers across B.C. enjoyed the same trend of higher hotel prices seen in Vancouver, and across the country. The average B.C. hotel room costed $222.08, which was almost 4.1 per cent more than the average hotel-room price in Metro Vancouver in February. Occupancy across the province was only 62.8 per cent in February, which was far below Metro Vancouver's average occupancy rate. 

Hotel occupancy and pricing is expected to pick up into the spring and summer. 

Back in July 2023, Vancouver hotel rooms charged an average $347.08 daily rate, according to CoStar. That was the highest figure that CoStar had ever recorded for a major city in Canada.

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