Home Hotels U.S. & Canada: So Close, Yet Their Hotel Occupancy Rates Are So Far Apart

U.S. & Canada: So Close, Yet Their Hotel Occupancy Rates Are So Far Apart

by SharonKurheg

Although year-over-year numbers are still horrific, hotels in the U.S. & Canada are slowly seeing more week-to-week occupancy, according to an industry marketplace insight provider.

United States

For the week of  May 10th through May 16th, the occupancy rate in U.S. hotels was 32.4%. In previous weeks, occupancy levels have been:

  • May 3rd to 9th: 30.1%
  • April 26th to May 2nd: 28.6%
  • April 19th to 25th: 26.0%
  • April 12th to 18th: 23.4%
  • April 5th to 11th: 21.0%

This shows that as states’ lockdowns, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders are eased, people are indeed going out and staying in hotels again, at a rate of a rough increase of 1.5 to 2.5% more per week. However it’s still the vast minority of travelers, as evidenced by year-over-year comparisons. i.e., in comparison to the week of May 10-16, 2019, occupancy rates were down 54.1%


Although some provinces are beginning to ease COVID precautions, Canada as a whole has taken a much more conservative stance than the U.S. when it comes to stay-at-home orders and reopening. This is evidenced by the lower percentage of citizens who have been stricken by or died from coronavirus (as of this writing: Canada 2019 population 37.59M, 81,461 cases, 6,152 deceased, vs. U.S. 2019 population 328.2M, 1,608,084 cases, 95,087 deceased), but also shows in the number of hotel rooms being filled in the country, as well.

For the week of May 10-16, Canada’s average occupancy rate was 18.4% (a decrease of 72.5% in comparison to May 12-18, 2019). However, that’s still better than previous weeks:

  • May 3rd to May 9th: 17.5%
  • April 26th to May 2: 16.6%
  • April 19th to 25th: 15.0%
  • April 12th to 18th: 12.8%
  • April 5th to 12th: 12.0%

It’s still (usually) an increase of 1.5 to 2.5%, but consistently at a generally 20-25% lower ratio.

So you have one country with a leader who is itching to open everything ASAP, and another country with a leader who’s being slow, deliberate and careful. The hotel occupancy rate reflects that almost perfectly.

It’s an interesting trend to watch and I look forward to seeing the numbers that are released after Memorial Day Weekend. After all, it’s a huge “kick-off to summer” holiday in the U.S. and in Canada it’s…just any other weekend ;-). So we’ll see how the numbers move.

#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Howard May 22, 2020 - 3:24 pm

One country values freedom, one country doesn’t.

I’m very happy to live in America and not Canada.

This is just another reason to not do business with Canada or support their authoritarian government policies (of which this is certainly not the first).

It’s funny when people compare number of deaths and cheer when their country is ‘lower’
What a bad way to judge quality of life.

SharonKurheg May 22, 2020 - 5:00 pm

What the U.S. has done (or rather, hasn’t done) to try to keep this virus in check is an embarrassment. I don’t blame Canada for not wanting anyone from here to go there.

Just for the record though, it was a mutual agreement.

derek May 22, 2020 - 6:07 pm

Canadians are constantly getting ripped off. Milk is double the price. Gas is well over US$4 per gallon. Prices on Amazon are higher for the exact same thing. Even when you cross the border, they will sometimes look at your tires and question whether you bought new tires for your car and are trying to evade paying duty.

Justin used to be a school teacher taking drugs. What kind of model is that? Which is worse, a sex hunger man with funny hair or a drug addicted teacher?

British Columbia punishes college students whose family bought them a condo to stay. The province labels that as property speculation and taxes it higher with a Speculator’s Tax. Politicians there routinely cheat and ride the bus without paying then get caught (example: previous mayor of Vancouver, previous candidate for Premier of BC and now health minister). That is corruption and moral breakdown.

SharonKurheg May 22, 2020 - 6:27 pm

Frankly, I can’t think of any country that doesn’t have a history of corruption and moral breakdown at some point, so why should Canada be any different? All that set aside, I was focusing on how Canada has handled COVID-19 vs. the U.S. The way we’ve handled it has been an atrocity. Canada admittedly hasn’t done as good of a job as, say, New Zealand or Australia, but their percentage of cases is still way below their neighbors to the south.


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