Niagara Falls hotels due for best bounce-back, says leading commercial real estate group

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Published October 28, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Niagara Falls hotels are likely to see the best occupancy rates in Canada, according to a leading commercial real estate group.

CBRE (Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis) Group issued a report suggesting Niagara Falls, Vancouver and Quebec City will outperform all major Canadian markets, including Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, since even with COVID-19 restrictions, the big three benefited the most from Canadians travelling through the country.

The study said hotel occupancy in Niagara Falls is expected to be the highest of any Canadian market at 59 per cent, more than double the pandemic low and down just eight percentage points from 2019.

That said, the report cautioned that while hotel revenues in Niagara Falls will continue to rise in 2022, they would likely not surpass pre-pandemic numbers.

British Columbia saw the biggest bounce-back with over 14 million overnight visits from out-of-province travellers in 2021, compared with 13.5 million in 2019, the year before the pandemic.

The study said it expected Quebec City’s hotel occupancy to be roughly 55 per cent, helped by meeting and conference travel already booked for the second half of next year.

“Resort destination location (such as Niagara Falls and Quebec City) properties have seen the strongest (revenue) bounce back in 2021, similar to what we saw in 2020,” said CBRE Hotels Director Nicole Nguyen in the report.

“While (revenue) is still below their 2019 levels these markets are making great strides toward recovery.”

The report concluded that recovery in the Canadian hotel industry was very dependent on US travellers returning to Canada and comeback for business travel expected in spring 2022.

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