Room rates, occupancy rising in fiscal 2023

Newport and Bristol county’s tourism industry benefited from record-high room rates and soaring occupancy over the last fiscal year, according to the tourism authority’s annual financial audit. However, Discover Newport is taking steps to ensure rising costs and growing summer visitation don’t impede the industry further down the line.

“We are a very competitive industry and there’s some concern about where the ceiling is and how much are people willing to pay to travel,” Discover Newport President and CEO Evan Smith said. “Travel inflation I think is very real and it concerns me because I do think at some point there’s going to be a correction in the marketplace.”

The Newport and Bristol County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, also known as Discover Newport, submitted its annual financial audit for the fiscal year covering June 30, 2021, to June 30, 2022, to the municipalities it reports to earlier this month.

According to the audit, the tourism authority reaped $5.7 million in revenue over the past fiscal year, a 67% increase over the previous year. Discover Newport is mainly funded through hotel taxes, revenue from which increased by 85% during the same time period.

The large increase in revenue from hotel taxes can be largely attributed to increases in room rates and inflation, rather than increases in occupancy. The audit document shows the average daily room rate at $224.30, more than double what it was the previous fiscal year. Smith said he is worried the increasing room rates in Newport County might dampen interest in travel to the destination in the future.

Who are Newport’s top taxpayers?Take a look at the top 50.

“We’re narrowing our client field so thin, that’s what concerns me,” Smith said. “We’re marketing to the 1% is the issue…I think it’s a testament to the destination that people are willing to pay a premium to come, that they value the experience they’re going to get and will pay that much more, but honestly, you can fly to London with the airfare and three nights hotel cheaper than you can spend a weekend in Newport.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button