Bucks County’s outdoor attractions and marketing campaigns, coupled with the increased travel demand and record number of weddings, drove some of the strongest ever lodging figures in Bucks County.
“Coming off a successful spring and summer travel season, Bucks County hotel occupancy had its best September on record,” said Paul Bencivengo, president/COO of Visit Bucks County. “Occupancy was 74.4 percent and the average hotel rate was $119.07. This is all with an increased total supply of hotel rooms. Previously, Bucks County’s best September was in 2019 with occupancy at 71.1 percent and an average daily rate of $106.31.”
“We have hosted a record number of staycations and vacations at the Aaron Burr House and Porches on the Towpath in New Hope,” said innkeeper Lisa Pretecrum. “Guests from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey visited our award-winning bed and breakfast to experience area gardens, ghost tours, foliage along the towpath, apple picking and all of the other activities that make fall in Bucks County such a wonderful time to visit.”
In October, Bucks County hotels nearly matched the record occupancy in 2019. October 2021 occupancy was 73.3 percent – just a shade under the record 73.5 percent in 2019. Average daily hotel rate was $121.95 in October, shattering the previous record of $107.92 in 2018. This was with more hotel room supply available than ever before.
Forced postponements for couples hosting weddings in 2020 drove unprecedented amounts of overnight traffic to the region as well.
“With it essentially being two wedding seasons in one, it caused couples that had postponed to scramble for any date and day of the week they could,” said Steven Dougherty, area director of sales at the Homewood and Hampton Inn Suites in Doylestown.
VBC’s marketing efforts focused on lodging packages and special offers, itinerary building and travel content that encouraged visitors to extend their stays.
“Our weekend and weekday guests are staying longer than average,” said Lisa Menz, innkeeper at New Hope’s Fox and Hound Bed & Breakfast. “Although some guests still come for one night, the majority are staying two or three nights. Most guests are from Pennsylvania or New York City. Longer stays enable them to have an even more relaxing stay and enjoy more sightseeing and area activities.”
“We have been blown away by the demand these last few months and have achieved record breaking numbers in both occupancy and average daily rate,” said Erin McPhillips, general manager at the Hampton Inn Bensalem. “The wedding market returned stronger than pre-COVID with new wedding groups coming in on shoulder nights. All signs indicate that these trends will continue into 2022 and we look forward to welcoming more Bucks County travelers in the coming year.”
VBC recently began marketing the “Holidays in Bucks County” campaign to promote the festive season to potential visitors in the region and to Bucks County’s out-of-state target markets.