Dear Industry Partners,

We hope that you are safe and well. 

This afternoon Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry issued Emergency Order 20-03 announcing a Shelter-in-Place: Safer at Home Policy for residents. The order clarifies certain aspects of Emergency Order 20-01, particularly with regard to businesses identified as “essential,” and defines “essential employees.” Please take time to read through this latest directive.

Additionally, we just received the Greater Fort Lauderdale hotel stats from STR, Inc. for the past week. With so much happening by the minute, it’s our goal at the GFLCVB to provide you with as much information as possible about how COVID-19 is impacting our industry here at home, as well as nationally and internationally.  

STR Hotel Data for the week of March 15-21, 2020

March 15-21 marks week three since the start of the decline attributed to COVID-19.

  • Broward County occupancy for the week was 38.6%, a decline of -54.5% over the same week last year.
    • We heard from some hotel partners that occupancy was in the 10%-14% range, so 38.6% is better than we anticipated.
    • Sunday posted a 57% occupancy. Daily occupancy declined as the week continued, with Saturday reporting a YTD low of 27.5% occupancy.
    • In comparison, during the threat of Hurricane Dorian in the fall of 2019, we saw only two days dip into high 30% occupancy.
  • Demand for overnight hotel stays fell -53% over same week last year.
  • ADR was down -23.4% and RevPar was down -65%.
  • Reported hotel revenue was down -64%.
  • All our neighboring and competitive markets followed the same downward trend with some competitive markets seeing declines as large as -76% in occupancy. and -85% in RevPar.

To put it in perspective, here’s a look at the period spanning March 1 (the beginning of the downturn) to March 21 (the latest data available):

  • Broward County Occupancy is down -28% over same time last year.
  • Demand for overnight hotel stays is down -26%.
  • ADR is down -11% and RevPar is down -34%.
  • Reported hotel revenue is down -32%.

VISIT FLORIDA'S new dashboard to add to the various industry tools that help with monitoring:

Latest Information from U.S. Travel and Oxford Economics: 

  • A decline of 34% for the entire year is expected for travel industry losses as a whole; loss of $355B in direct travel spending.
  • Expect a 78% drop in revenue over the next two months (April-May). 
  • The pandemic was originally estimated to have six times the impact of 9/11. That has now been adjusted to seven times the impact of 9/11. 
  • The economy is expected to enter a protracted recession likely to last at least two quarters with the lowest point in 2Q 2020 (April/May/Jun3).
  • The U.S. economy is expected to lose 5.9 million jobs by the end of April as a result of travel declines (up from 4.6 million a week ago). 
  • The unemployment rate is likely to rise to 7.1% by end of April as result of travel-related employment losses alone (projected 6.3% a week ago).
  • Job losses will spike in April and May, shedding 52% of all travel employment by December (projected 40% a week ago). 
  • International visits to the U.S. are expected to decline at least 23% in 2020. 

On a positive note, here’s some silver lining information for you!

  • Reported hotel revenue for YTD (January 1-March 21) is up 2.8% thanks to a strong start to 2020.
  • January 2020 Tourism Development Tax (TDT) was 15% higher than January 2019.

The GFLCVB is moving rapidly to support our industry by creating content including information on local restaurants offering either takeout or delivery services. To get your restaurant listed, click here. We have also created a Virtual Vacation Experiences section on our website for visitors to enjoy through your social media livestreams and videos. You'll find more info on this here

Visit our Industry Partner page for more updates and for ways to share your information with us. You can also check our COVID-19 Advisory page for the latest destination information.

Please be assured that we are working on marketing strategy and content to lead our destination’s recovery when the time is right. 

Your GFLCVB team is here for you, and we’ll do our best to stay in touch and provide you with the latest information.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us   


Stacy Ritter
President / CEO

Greater Fort Lauderdale
Convention & Visitors Bureau