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Lehigh Valley Continues to Experience Strong Hotel Demand

By Colin McEvoy on February 22, 2022

The Renaissance Allentown Hotel in downtown Allentown. (photo couresty City Center Investment Corp.)

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Lehigh Valley has been experiencing strong hotel demand for nearly the past year, and that momentum has continued in recent months, according to Discover Lehigh Valley.

Hotel demand in the Lehigh Valley has been surpassing 2019 levels since June 2021, according to Discover Lehigh Valley, which works to promote the Lehigh Valley as a premier tourism, meetings, and sports destination.

Hotel performance in December 2021 and January 2022 has continued to reflect this strength, according to the latest report by STR, which provides premium data benchmarking, analytics, and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry.

December 2020 hotel tax collections in the Lehigh Valley equaled roughly $25,500 (9%) more than December 2019, according to STR, whose regional data was compiled and distributed by Discover Lehigh Valley.

Hotel occupancy for the region in December 2021 closed out at 67.1%, compared to 49.2% in 2020 and 64.1% in 2019, according to the STR report. That compares favorably to a national average of only 53.3%, according to Discover Lehigh Valley.

Hotel occupancy for the Lehigh Valley in January 2022 closed out at 63.7%, compared to 52.9% in 2021 and 57% in 2020, and a national average of 49.7%, according to the STR report.

The Lehigh Valley’s Hotel Average Daily Rate, which measures the average rental revenue earned for an occupied room per day, was up more than $31 in December 2021 and $18 in January 2022, over respective time periods in 2019 and 2020, according to the data.

Discover Lehigh Valley is a key partner in Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, a multi-organizational campaign that highlights the region’s diverse and unique assets that make it a desirable community to visit, work, learn, and live.

The Made Possible in Lehigh Valley initiative also seeks to enhance talent attraction and retention efforts for our region’s employers, and increase opportunities for professionals within the region to connect with others.

Discover Lehigh Valley’s February newsletter also highlighted data from U.S. Travel, which stated that nationwide travel spending nearly reached pre-pandemic levels in December 2021.

Total travel spending tallied $92 billion, which reflected a drop of just 2% below December 2019 levels. This was, by far, the strongest performance since the start of the pandemic, according to Discover Lehigh Valley.

The mission of Discover Lehigh Valley is strengthening Lehigh Valley’s economy through tourism, while enhancing quality of life and regional pride. Learn more about the organization at its website or in its strategic plan.

Discover Lehigh Valley President & CEO Alex Michaels serves on the Board of Directors for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).

Hotel tax proceeds are an important source of revenue for LVEDC that supports our ability to market the Lehigh Valley’s economic assets. About half the organization’s budget is supported by hotel tax revenue, with the rest coming from private and public investment.

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