New hotel inventory outpaces booked rooms

COLUMBUS During the third quarter, Columbus’ hotel industry saw mixed performance in year-to-date metrics. From January through September, hotel occupancy and RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) decreased, while average daily rate increased over the same time period in 2017. Bed tax collections grew by 4.06 percent.

According to Smith Travel Research Report, from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2018:



% change

Average in competitive set





Average Daily Rate








* RevPAR is a hotel industry performance metric, which is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s ADR by its occupancy rate

New hotel inventory outpaced booked rooms throughout the city, resulting in a drop in occupancy, which is on trend with how the U.S. hotel industry performed through the third quarter.

Downtown hotels performed well across all key performance indicators year-to-date. Occupancy was 71.9 percent, a 1.6 percent increase; ADR was $149.71, a 0.3 percent increase; and RevPAR was $107.71, a 1.9 percent increase.

“There’s a lot of momentum in our local tourism economy, which underscores the importance of investing in strategic development opportunities and capitalizing on ASAE in 2019,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “Hosting ASAE will give us the ability to book larger groups into the future, which will help positively impact occupancy, ADR and RevPAR throughout the city.”

During the third quarter of 2018, Columbus hosted a total of 161 conventions, sporting events and groups, including nine citywide events, those with 1,000 room nights or more on peak. Four back-to-back citywide conventions filled hotels and the Greater Columbus Convention Center in July and August. AmericanHort welcomed 10,000 attendees to 2018 Cultivate; Thirty-One Gifts brought 10,000 for its 2018 Annual Convention; Avon drew 5,000 to its 2018 Avon Repfest; and the National Urban League welcomed 4,500 attendees to its annual conference. Additionally, the Fastpitch Showdowns 2018 North American All Sanctioned World Series 8-12 and 14U welcomed 7,200 athletes and fans combined.

“Columbus’ sports scene shined bright on the national stage when we hosted USA Swimming, the Minor League Baseball All-Star Game and The Basketball Tournament during the third quarter,” said Linda Logan, Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director. “We also celebrated a big win as a community when USA Fencing selected Columbus for two major events: the 2020 Junior Olympic Championships and the 2021 December North American Cup.”

Looking ahead, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission booked future business during the third quarter accounting for 81,627 room nights. Citywide groups include the 2020 World Conference on Quality and Improvement, 2020 International Literacy Association Conference and US Chess Elementary Championships in 2022 and 2024.

Hotel/motel bed tax collections increased 4.06 percent YTD or $1.4 million as of Sept. 30, with collections totaling nearly $35.4 million, according to reports from the Office of City of Columbus Auditor Megan Kilgore. These funds support not only Experience Columbus, but also cultural and arts programs, social services, affordable housing programs and the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority.


Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending and enhancing the visitor experience. In 2016, Columbus was ranked “Highest in Visitor Satisfaction in the Midwest” by J.D. Power in the 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction StudySM.  Annually, visitors make more than 41.1 million trips to Greater Columbus for conventions, tradeshows, sporting events and leisure visits, generating $7 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting 78,000 jobs. For more information, visit