May 9, 2023 - Business

Swifties boosted Houston's hotel occupancy

Taylor Swift in Houston for the Eras Tour. Photo: Bob Levey/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Taylor Swift had more of a chokehold on Houston's hotel occupancy rates than the NCAA men's Final Four.

Driving the news: Swift's sold-out three-night stint at NRG Stadium — with 72,220 seats — resulted in Houston's highest hotel revenue week of 2023, according to Houston First Corp., the city's tourism agency.

By the numbers: From April 21 to April 23, hotels in Houston had an occupancy rate of nearly 78% and charged an average daily rate of $137, according to data compiled by Houston First.

  • Compared to 2019, the occupancy rate was up 34% and room rates were up 54%, per Houston First.
  • Flashback: According to the Business Journal, Houston's hotels maintained a near 67% occupancy in 2019.

Zoom in: In the medical center area, near NRG, hotels had a 91% occupancy rate and cost an average of $215 per night during Swift's tour dates.

  • That's a 76% increase in occupancy and a 85% increase in rates compared to that weekend in 2019.
  • Of note: During Swift's weekend, the First Championship in robotics was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center and had a record-breaking attendance of 50,000 people.

In contrast, Final Four week, which also featured the Astros' opening weekend and the March Madness Music Festival, saw an occupancy rate of 66% and the weekend nightly average price was $160.

What we're watching: How many people will come to town for Beyonce's highly anticipated homecoming concert in September.


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