Lafayette Parish’s hoteliers took a hit from the oil spill last year, but by the second half of the year their numbers were rebounding nicely. Hotel/motel receipts ended the year down only 2.8 percent.
In March, hotel/motel tax receipts totaled $6.7 million, compared with $4.8 million a month earlier and $5 million in March 2010. Year-to-date receipts are now 16.2 percent higher than 2010.
Though leisure travel was down in 2010 due to cancellations related to the spill, according to the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, the descent of media, relief workers, and government officials began to offset some of the lost spending from leisure travel.
The region’s hospitality industry was also impacted by the recession, LEDA notes. Hotel occupancy rates in Lafayette Parish had been well above the national average since 2005. Local rates dipped in 2009 and again in 2010, with 2010 kicking off at a 28 percent deficit in hotel/motel tax collections. However, five of the last six months of 2010 saw higher individual monthly receipts than in 2009, mirroring a trend that had also begun to develop in retail sales.