Given that Dallas is home to the USA’s first Ebola patient who died on Wednesday morning (NPR link), hotel industry analysts have been watching the market’s hotel industry to learn if travelers are staying away.
But so far, they are not, according to Wall Street analyst Patrick Scholes, the managing director of lodging and leisure equity research for SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc.
In Scholes’ latest report issued Wednesday, he says that despite growing 24/7 media coverage as well as new precautions at airports, the stats don’t yet show significant cancellations.
“We believe if there is one market that would be the most likely to show weakness due to Ebola related fears/cancellations, it would be Dallas,” Scholes said in his latest report.
The most recent week’s revenue per available room for Dallas hotels – based on data from industry tracker STR – show that RevPAR grew 4.8% last week vs. the prior week, more than the U.S. urban average of 4.2%, he wrote.
“If there was a rash of cancellations in Dallas, we would have expected RevPAR to materially underperform the industry average, which has not been the case so far,” Scholes said.
A Dallas Morning News blog post that cited a Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau exec and hotel executives echoed similar findings, citing few cancellations from out-of-town visitors. Later on Wednesday, the New York Times ran a piece headlined, “Death of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas Fuels Alarm Over Ebola.”
Readers: Are you altering your travel plans due to concerns about the Ebola virus?