South Florida: Number of Cruise Passengers Grew Last Year; Hotel Industry to Benefit from the Uptick
The number of cruise passengers grew in South Florida last year, maintaining a five-year upward trend. The good news also represents a boost for hotel development and room rates.
PortMiami, with 6.7 million cruise passengers in 2019, and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, with 3.9 million, saw an increase in visitors in comparison to the year before. They had 5.59 million and 3.87 million in 2018, respectively, according to the commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm JLL.
All these activities attract more foreign investors, development, and an increment in room rates for the industry told JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group Investment Sales Managing Director Gregory Rumpel.
Foreign investors analyze all of this, and off course, they want a stake in a thriving hospitality market, he said. He reports there is an increasing number of investors from the Middle East since last year.
Hotel supply will keep on growing in the next five years, not only in Miami Beach but also in Downtown Miami and Brickell, according to Rumpel. PortMiami’s newest terminals, and the consequent passenger growth, are already inciting hotel development in Miami Beach with brands from Sonder to the luxury Aman.
Another development hoping to tap into the cruise customer growth is Miami Worldcenter, with the addition of three hotels to the 30-acre site in downtown Miami, including a Marriott Marquis, citizenM, and Legacy Hotel & Resort.
Room rates are expected to continue growing, at least in some areas of South Florida, notwithstanding more stock, Rumpel said. They are expecting a moderate increase between 1% and 1.5% for revenue per available room — room rate multiplied by occupancy rate — across Miami-Dade County and Broward in 2020.
Hotel occupancy grew 2.5% in Miami-Dade from 2018 to 2019, according to reports by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau issued in December 2019. But countywide rates had dropped by about 0.8% from 2018 to 2019. Some areas, such as Miami Beach, Aventura, Coconut Grove, and Sunny Isles Beach, saw a small increase.