WASHINGTON, DC-District of Columbia officials expected 600,000 to 800,000 visitors for yesterday’s presidential inauguration–far less than the 1.8 million people who came to town for President Obama’s first swearing in. The reduced numbers, though, didn’t mean the city’s hotels lost out. On the contrary, they will get a nice bump in visitors, Robert Webster, managing director of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group tells GlobeSt.com.
“There is no doubt that the DC market outperforms in presidential inauguration years and we expect that 2013 will be no different, although not as robust as President Obama’s first inauguration,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “On average, the DC hotel market experiences inauguration year RevPAR growth premiums that are 4.7 percentage points higher than the national average.” President Obama’s first inauguration was a blockbuster year, Webster says, as the premium was 10.8 percentage points better than the national average.
This is not 2008, of course, which is unfortunate for hotels, given the recent softness of the market. This softness, though, is a short-term blip, Webster says, as the area’s hotel fundamentals are too strong.
“Washington, DC is an attractive investment market for both domestic and international investors, illustrated by DC’s consistent top 5 world ranking in the annual Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) survey of foreign investors,” Webster says. “In the 2013 AFIRE survey, DC ranked #3 in the U.S. and #4 among all global cities for investment desirability. From a hotel investment perspective Washington, DC’s long-term RevPAR performance is outstanding, with average annual RevPAR growth of 6% since 1973, a significant premium to the U.S. average. This is the reason why DC is one of the most attractive hotel investment markets in the world.”
Over the short- to intermediate-term, he adds, “the DC market will be boosted by political maneuvering from lobbyists on numerous hot-button issues, although these gains will be tempered by continued government spending austerity.”