Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Tue July 14 2015

Cincinnati Hotel Bookings Jump for MLB All-Star Game

Hotel & Resort | Ryan Rudnansky | July 14, 2015

Cincinnati Hotel Bookings Jump for MLB All-Star Game

Photo courtesy of Travel Cincinnati USA Facebook page

Cincinnati, which hosts the 2015 MLB All-Star Game tonight, has seen hotel occupancy shoot up, on the back of numbers that were already growing.

According to TravelClick, total occupancy increased 44 percent yesterday for the Home Run Derby, year-over-year, while group occupancy and transient occupancy (leisure and business travelers) spiked, increasing 59.6 percent and 34.3 percent, respectively.

Today, total occupancy shot up 30.5 percent, while group occupancy and transient occupancy rose 44.3 percent and 21.6 percent, respectively.  

“The increases in both transient and group occupancy are ‘All Star Worthy,’ and very impressive, especially considering most North American markets are increasing occupancy in the single digits,” said John Hach, senior industry analyst at TravelClick.

There is no denying the impact the Home Run Derby and the MLB All-Star Game can have on a city’s hospitality industry. Hach said it’s common for hoteliers to experience occupancy increases in the double digits during the two-day event, and the fact that the MLB All-Star Game happens during the busy summer season (when travelers are looking for worthy vacation destination) means that there’s a potential for occupancy increases to continue in a host city if the city impresses.

“For cities of similar size to Cincinnati, attracting venues like the MLB All-Star Game are vitally important in bringing new tourists into a city,” Hach said. “When tourists have a positive experience this has the potential to translate into future tourism dollars for years to come.”

Of course, Cincinnati had been attracting tourists before the All-Star Game, too.

According to TravelClick, total occupancy had risen by 1.7 percent, year-over-year, in the city before All-Star Weekend.

“While there is certainly positive impact immediately before and after the game our statistics show Cincinnati’s visitor and convention bureau is doing a phenomenal job bringing tourists to the city for other events,” Hach said. “Future group occupancy pace throughout the summer and into the fall look strong. This means there are additional large group commitments for the remainder of this year that are contributing to the overall projected growth for 2015.”

TravelClick data indicates that total occupancy growth in Cincinnati is up 3 percent for the rest of 2015, based on bookings that have already been made. 

Cincinnati has the potential to boost those numbers even more, but that all depends. Hach said it’s important for local hoteliers and businesses not to get greedy when they have the opportunity to boost prices astronomically during a major sports event, because that can lead to a poor perception of the city and actually hurt it in the long term.

“Local hoteliers and merchants need to resist the temptation to overcharge for goods and services during periods of high demand,” Hach said. “New and returning visitors are positively influenced when destinations prove they are affordable. Events like the MLB All-Star Game can provide lasting economic benefit when the local tourism industry unites to create a positive vacation experience.”

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