Dear Industry Partners,

We’re doing our best to share with you the latest information related to the impacts on our lives and the tourism industry from the spread of COVID-19. We are in this together. 

Latest Florida COVID-19 Executive Order

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91 yesterday extending the “Stay at Home” order to the entire state, taking effect at midnight tonight, April 2, lasting through April 30. The order encourages people to work from home and continues to allow movements for essential services. It doesn’t add any additional restrictions in Broward County that weren’t already in place.

Looking Toward Recovery

The impacts on our industry are enormous (see below for the last weekly numbers). I want to point out some hopeful insight shared by MMGY CEO Clayton Reid in an article on LinkedIn. He predicts the travel recovery will happen sooner than expected, with a focus on short distance road trips.

I’m very pleased to share with you that our new advertising agency, Aqua, officially kicked off their relationship with Greater Fort Lauderdale yesterday and we have hit the ground running. As we continue to promote and support the local industry during the slowdown, we are well on the way with research and planning for our recovery marketing efforts. We have already identified our local staycation and drive markets as our initial audience for those most likely to visit and patronize our hotels, restaurants and attractions during the initial recovery phase.

Latest Local Market Numbers

STR, Inc’s report covering hotel stays for the past week, issued yesterday, showed a fourth week of double-digit declines nationwide. We continue to see the steepest declines in the 30-year history of tracking hotel data.

We continue to be about eight weeks behind China. Some feared it would slip to 9-10 weeks, but so far it has not. China saw a very, very slow uptick in occupancy during the week of March 15-21. They reported a 23% occupancy for the week. Analyzing search data, unique flight searches are up in China. The Chinese are starting to take action and make buying decisions about travel.

  • In Broward County, March 22-28 marks week four since the start of the decline attributed to COVID-19.
    • Broward County occupancy for the week was 24% - a decline of -72% over same week last year.
    • The downtown/beach submarket posted a 14% occupancy – a decline of -84% over same time last year.
    • The Hollywood/airport submarket posted the highest occupancy at nearly 32%. That is likely airline crews and activity around Memorial Healthcare System, which is the Miramar hospital that has been in the news as the main Broward drive-through testing center.
    • For the past three weeks we have watched daily occupancy decline each day as the week progressed. This week (week four), occupancy was level across the week. We won’t know until we see the week five and week six numbers, but this could be a sign that we’ve hit the bottom. Next step will be the uptick as travel restrictions are lifted. 

  • Here in Broward County, 100+ hotels have temporarily suspended operations. Occupancy will become less significant as a market indicator until restrictions are lifted.
    • Demand will be a better indicator to watch as we track total overnight stays day-to-day and week-to-week. Demand for week 4 for overnight hotel stays fell -37% over last week.
    • ADR was down -39% and RevPar was down -83% over same week last year.
    • Reported hotel revenue was down -64% over same week last year.
    • Week 3 decline was also -64%.

  • All our neighboring and competitive markets followed the same downward trend. The state of Florida reported 20% occupancy. Of the competitive markets we track within the state, Greater Fort Lauderdale posted the highest occupancy.   
  • To put it in perspective, looking at March 1 (the beginning of the downturn) to March 28 (the latest data available) shows:
    • Broward County occupancy is down -39% over same time last year.
    • Demand for overnight hotel stays is down -37%.
    • ADR is down -18% and RevPar is down -46%.
    • Reported hotel revenue is down -45%.

Here are some further insights that you may find encouraging: 

  • Leisure travel is expected to pick-up first when restrictions are lifted. Americans have the sentiment “I deserve a vacation after this!” Some have coined that behavior “revenge spending” and people want to treat themselves as a reward for being in lock-down.
  • Recovery for the business traveler will be hot on the heels of leisure travel as corporations get back to business.
  • Group business will likely lag a bit with booking and planning times naturally taking longer. 

CBRE updated their 2020-2024 forecasting for our market:

  • Calendar year 2020 occupancy is projected to be down -30% over 2019.
  • CY 2020 ADR is projected to be down -12% over 2019.
  • CY 2020 RevPAR is projected to be down -38% over 2019.
  • Forecasts for 2021 are better than 2020 but they don’t see the forecasts return to 2019 levels until 2022. (GFLCVB will compare earlier published forecasts for 2021-2024 to what was released this week to have a more reasonable comparison to the affect COVID-19 is having on out-year forecasts.)

Although a little more than 100 of our hotel/motel properties temporarily suspended operations, we do have more than 200 properties who are accepting “essential lodgers.” And, several of our larger properties stand ready to assist with larger, more complicated yet coordinated efforts from regional, state and federal entities when needed. You can find hotels that are open for essential lodgers here:

Industry Partner Page on

For those of you seeking business assistance, but feeling overwhelmed by how to proceed, please review the information and links provided on our COVID-19 Information & Materials for the Travel Industry page at: Be sure to familiarize yourself with all options, including those in the national CARES Act.

We have also created a resource page for visitors to stay connected with us. You can find that page here:

As always, we encourage you to communicate with us, share information on how we can help promote your business or ask questions. We’re listening and we’re here for you. Please contact us   


Stacy Ritter
President / CEO

Greater Fort Lauderdale
Convention & Visitors Bureau