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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Aug. 19, 202111:50 AM EST

July a record month for Duval County hotel revenue

Leisure travel is leading the surge, Visit Jacksonville says.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

What COVID-19 took away, it is now giving back for the hotel business in Duval County.

The $49,586,742 total room revenue reported in July is the record for a single month, nearly $8 million above the previous high set in July 2019, according to data from STR, a national hotel business research company.

Leisure travel, 62.2% of the business in July, is leading the surge, said Katie Mitura, spokeswoman for Visit Jacksonville.

“In the industry it is referred to as ‘revenge travel.’ People have been cooped up at home. They want to get away and they have some money stockpiled,” Mitura said.

Location and the state’s national reputation for being open for business with fewer pandemic restrictions than other destinations also is a factor.

“Florida is open, people know they can have a vacation and Jacksonville is the most affordable beach destination in the state,” Mitura said.

Demand is driving up rates, with the average charge per room per day at the Beaches reported at $230.07 with occupancy at 82.1% in July.

The Downtown market area continues to reflect the continuing lag in convention and group business, just 11.7% of the countywide revenue in July. Hotels Downtown had an average daily rate of $124.21 and 72% occupancy.

The USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championship at the University of North Florida was another driver for the record revenue.

The event accounts for nearly 5,000 room nights booked the last week of July, Mitura said.

Competitors, coaches and staff drove occupancy in suburban hotels to 82.4% in Arlington, 80.7% in West Jacksonville, 76.8% in Southside/Mandarin and 71.8% at North Jacksonville properties.

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