Preliminary estimates for the first two months of the year anticipate a record accommodation demand, equivalent to a third more than that of 2022. A year ago the Omicron variant of COVID-19 kept demand suppressed during the first six weeks of the year.
Demand for hotels so far this year is the highest on record since 2016. However, current hotel demand is 5% lower than it was seven years ago. By then, the offer was also lower in the same proportion.
Total lodging inventory has grown significantly since those years. Although hotel supply is down 5% since 2016, total lodging inventory is 48% higher with the growth of the independent rental market.
So far this year, independent rentals account for 40% of total housing demand, slightly less than in the most recent two years, when consumers made significant shifts in their habits, opting more for rentals that offered more space. and privacy during the pandemic.
While there isn't enough hotel inventory in regions outside of the metro area to see the change in booking pace, there is enough rental inventory to see how the booking pace varies by geography. The metropolitan region has more than a third of the rental inventory on the Island, but the east and west each have a quarter of the total inventory.
Discover Puerto Rico recently conducted a series of focus groups with consumers who prefer to stay in different types of lodging properties. Along with Strategic Marketing & Research Insights, it was found that those who prefer to stay in hotels like the security offered by the facilities, as well as the consistency of the brands, the transparency of the rates and the reliability of the product.
Those who preferred independent rentals cited the properties as being better for families and cheaper. Discover Puerto Rico's 2022 visitor profile supports these findings with families choosing rentals more frequently and an average group size of 3.6 compared to 2.8 at hotels