After a year where it rained roughly 50-percent of the days, the year-end Smith Travel Research report (STR) showed that it didn't dampen the lodging industry in Adams County. For the third year in a row, demand for hotel/motel overnights was up 3.6-percent. This increase follows a record year in 2017 when demand was up 5.4-percent. The Bed & Breakfast industry saw a demand increase of 7.8-percent, the first time demand increased in this segment in the last three years.
Revenue was also up according to the STR report. The increase of 2.2-percent over 2018 follows on the heals of a 6.1-percent increase in 2017. The largest growth month for revenue was in the first quarter, showing 8.2-percent increase in January and 14.2-percent in March. Demand also showed the largest growth in those two months up 9.8-percent in January and 14.9-percent in March. The same trend was seen in the Bed & Breakfast segment for both demand and revenue. Overall revenue in this segment was up less than 1-percent.
It should be noted that overall supply of rooms was up over 2017 with the addition of the Best Western opening in May of 2017 and the Holiday Inn Express opening in August of 2017. This coupled with an increase of Airbnb offerings did show a slight decrease in occupancy of 1-percent. Occupancy levels in the Bed & Breakfast segment did see an increase in 2018 over 2017 by 7.8-percent while their supply did not change.
As Destination Gettysburg continues to hone our marketing strategy and messaging, we are seeing the impact on the overall destination. With an expanded visitor experience throughout the county encompassing our history, agriculture, culinary and outdoor opportunities, we are seeing traditional visitors embracing these experiences while generating a new visitor base to help sustain our industry.
Looking to the 2019 travel season, we are encouraged by the positive growth trends highlighted in this report and the enthusiasm of our visitors who are already planning for their getaways, vacations and many daytrips to our great destination.
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