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9 Facts You Need To Know About Houston Hospitality

Houston's hospitality market is booming. At Bisnow’s State of the Market Event last Thursday, Convention Vistors Bureau chairman Nick Massad, JW Marriott VP Ron Stewart and Hotel Alessandra GM Ryan Guillion discussed the latest and greatest in the sector. Here are nine major takeaways.

1. Houston is the second-fastest-growing US destination for overseas travelers.

  • Passenger traffic is up 3.7% to 55.1 million travelers. 
  • International traffic alone rose 9.5% to 10.7 million in 2015.

2. Travel spending in Houston is $17.2B.

  • While corporate travel is down, leisure and convention travel is up, generating $1.4B in tax receipts from travel-based spending.

3. Bush Intercontinental (IAH) is one of only two airports in the world with direct connections to six continents.

  • And we're a rare bird with two international airports within city limits. 

4. Houston tourism supports 135,400 jobs.

  • Corporate hospitality has always been big business in Houston, but recently leisure is driving hiring. Houston's in the spotlight, having hosted the NCAA Final Four and set to host the next Super Bowl. 

5. Average hotel room is $123, 24% lower than the national average. 

6. 12.9 million room nights sold in 2015.

  • While room nights did slightly decline, they were coming off an all time-high. With the Super Bowl and dramatic increase in conventions, numbers should rise again in 2016.

7. Houston will host nearly three times as many citywide conventions in 2017.

  • Major efforts from the Downtown District and Convention Visitors Bureau are finally starting to pay off. Improvements to the George R. Brown Convention Center and new hotel developments are driving new convention business to Houston. In 2015, Houston will host 12 citywide conventions, or those that bring in more than 5,000 visitors, filling up rooms in central Houston and driving business to areas outside of town. In 2016, 30 are already booked. 

8. 733,000 room nights were booked in 2015 for future years, up 29% and a new record.

  • The convention business is driving future bookings for major hotels.

9. RevPAR is down.

  • Despite increases in tourism and conventions, revenue per available room, the defining indicator of the hospitality industry, is down across the city. Group business is slowing as large oil and gas clients steer clear of being seen at swanky hotels.