Hyatt reports RevPAR rebound in first quarter

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An exterior shot of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
An exterior shot of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. saw RevPAR recovery pick up significantly in the latter part of the first quarter, with the group's systemwide RevPAR in March coming in 54% higher than January levels.

According to Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian, that increase was roughly double the rate of growth the company typically experiences over the same timeframe in a stabilized environment. 

For the full quarter, Hyatt's systemwide RevPAR was down 48.9% from the same period last year and down 65.4% from the same period in 2019.

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Systemwide occupancy saw a similar late-quarter lift, thanks to elevated levels of leisure demand in February and "pronounced improvement" in March, Hoplamazian told investors during the company's Wednesday earnings call.

"While several weeks do not make a trend, we feel the spring break period in the United States provides a preview of pent-up demand for travel, which we anticipate will drive performance through our traditionally heavier leisure period in late quarter two and into quarter three," said Hoplamazian. 

Hyatt's resort portfolio proved to be a particular bright spot during the leisure-driven period, with Hyatt resorts in the continental U.S. approaching 70% occupancy over a seven-day stretch in late March. Moreover, for the full month of March, Hyatt's U.S. resorts posted an increase in average rate of approximately 4% versus 2019 levels for comparable hotels.

"Globally, transient revenue at our resorts is now pacing 20% ahead of 2019 levels over the back half of the year," said Hoplamazian.

On the group and business transient front, Hoplamazian acknowledged that "demand needs to improve meaningfully" in order for Hyatt to reach full recovery mode. He pointed out, however, that Hyatt hit "a notable inflection point" in terms of group booking activity in April, when Hyatt's gross group revenue booked for the year totaled roughly $8 million, exceeding all cancellations or reductions in attendee expectations for the remainder of 2021.  

"That's a big deal, because, frankly, all pace numbers that might have been cited in the last 12 months are either irrelevant or misleading, because you can't really track pace properly unless you know what's falling out the bottom with respect to future cancellations or reductions in attendance," Hoplamazian explained.

He added that recent conversations with Hyatt's top corporate clients suggest that corporate travel demand will see "moderate progress in the near term," with larger corporate and association events on the books for as early as June.

Hyatt reported a first-quarter net loss of $304 million. The company's revenue for the quarter dropped 55.9%, to $438 million.

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