Analysis by Eddie Yeung

STR’s global “bubble chart” update as of 16 September 2023 showed 86% of markets with growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR) compared to 2019. With summer travel season winding down in many parts of the world, this figure was expectedly lower than the previous update (by 2%) but well above the 2022 comparable (66%).

Among all countries with a total supply of more than 50,000 rooms, Israel, France, Greece, Singapore, and Italy led in RevPAR on an actual basis. Greece sustained the top spot for the third consecutive 28-day period.

Five countries recorded an occupancy rate above 80%—Ireland, Greece, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Portugal. That was two more countries than the previous update, and Ireland’s level of 91% was the highest of the 28-day period.

Thanks to that exceptional occupancy level, Ireland joined Greece, Italy, Brazil, and Colombia in the top spots for RevPAR growth compared to 2019. The overall pattern of growth has remained steady across all 48 countries with a total supply of more than 50,000 rooms. Among these countries, 45 saw growth in ADR, while only 10 posted occupancy levels above 2019. The discrepancy between the performance of these two metrics has become the norm for most parts of the world, where RevPAR growth is driven by ADR growth.

China reported one of the lowest RevPAR spots along with Indonesia, Bulgaria, Colombia and Vietnam. This period was the first for China among the lowest RevPAR performers since COVID restrictions ended. China’s RevPAR had been steadily ahead of 2019 level since the easing of the lockdowns, but in this period, the country was behind the 2019 comparable.

Excluding provincial areas, country markets, and markets affected by fluctuating exchange rates, the top five RevPAR performers were New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Milan, Hong Kong, and Rome. New Delhi saw staggering growth in ADR at 132%, thanks to hosting the G20 summit in early September. Hong Kong recorded robust 71% growth in RevPAR compared to 2019, but it is worth noting that the same period in 2019 was lower than normal due to protests in the market.

China’s country-level performance was held back by its major cities. Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen all reported performance behind 2019. Shenzhen recorded the worst RevPAR comparison at -27% from 2019.