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Regional hotels and motels outperformed statewide marks in October

Southern Oregon hoteliers posted gains in five of six metrics tracked during October by Smith Travel Research of Hendersonville, Tenn.

The seven-county region posted larger gains than the state as a whole in four categories as well, underscoring continued improved tourism activity.

From a broader 18-month perspective, upward trends have ruled, said Anne Jenkins, senior vice president of Travel Medford.

"With the exception of June 2013 and April 2014, we've seen increases every month," Jenkins said. "We're very pleased with what we've seen in occupancy, which means we're seeing increased leisure traffic as well as corporate business."

Southern Oregon hotels and motels reported a 63.5 percent occupancy rate in October, a 9.7 percent year-over-year improvement, and solidly over the 5.8 percent growth seen statewide. In the closely watched revenue per available room category, the region reported a $51.35 figure, up 13.4 percent, exceeding the 11.5 percent growth seen statewide. Statewide, the occupancy rate in October was 65.3 percent and the revenue per available room was $68.05.

Jenkins said U.S. Cellular Park events, motorsports competition at the county-owned speedway and drag strip, and golf tournaments have all contributed to the trends.

"The travel market has made a definite come back," she said. "We're seeing a slow, steady increase, which is always a plus. Nationally, they're predicting occupancy will continue to go up in 2015 and into 2016."

 Portland Metro, Coast and Willamette Valley regions have larger capacity than Southern Oregon, but Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Coos and Curry counties saw a 9.6 percent uptick in demand, versus 6.7 percent statewide. During October, the region reported revenue of nearly $13.2 million, up 13.3 percent, while statewide revenue improved 12.4 percent. 

Through 10 months, Southern Oregon has improved occupancy 4.7 percent, compared with 3.7 percent statewide, and the region has had stronger growth in room demand as well. The statewide revenue per available room was nearly even.