Taylor Swift is helping Houston hotels recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Swift's three night stint at NRG Stadium in late November brought tens and thousands of Swifties, or fans of Swift, to the Bayou City from all over the state. This resulted in Houston's biggest hotel revenue week since 2023. Swift's Eras Tour, her first national tour in 2018, sold out the 72.220-seat NRG Stadium three nights in a a row. There was no room in Houston to accommodate anyone searching for a hotel.
Houston First, an organization charged with promoting Houston's convention and tourist business, compiled data that showed hotels in Houston were nearly 87% full, with a daily average rate of $143 from April 21 to April 23.
Houston First reported that compared to the same weekend of 2019, before the Covid-19 outbreak, the citywide occupancy rate has increased by 20 points, and room rates have risen by 57%.
Hotels in the central business district had a weekend occupancy rate of 93.9% and an ADR of $258.50. This was a 30 percent increase in occupancy, and a 45 percent increase in ADR when compared with 2019.
Houston Galleria finished the weekend with 90.2% occupancy, and a $217.45 ADR. This was a 29% occupancy increase and a 70% ADR increase from 2019.
Houston First reported that the Medical Center market ended the weekend with 93.8% occupancy, and a $223.32 ADR. This represents a 42.7% occupancy increase and 61.1% ADR increase.
Swift's arrival in Houston, at the same time as the First Robotics Championship brought a record 50,000 visitors to the George R. Brown Convention Center, provided much-needed support to Houston's hospitality sector. Houston, the largest city in the state, ranked last for occupancy before the pandemic. It has also made the least recovery progress after the pandemic.
According to a recent Houston Business Journal analysis, Houston's hotels had a 67% occupancy rate in 2019. This compares with 69% for Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin, and 78% for the entire country. Houston's occupancy in 2022 was 54%. This represents a recovery of 81%. However, it still lagged behind the rest of Texas, and the nation, by a significant margin.
Houston's rank in percentile is another measure: 53.5. This means that 46.5% (or the metro areas of the United States) had higher hotel occupancy rates in 2022. The average percentile ranking for metro areas in the country is 64.
The Business Journal found that none of the metros analyzed had occupancy rates in 2022 that were higher than their current levels.
Beyonce Knowles, a Houston-born pop star, is also scheduled to perform on NRG Stadium's stage on September 24. She is expected to have an impact similar to that of Knowles on Houston hotels.
Swift, 33, will make a fortune from her Eras Tour.
Entertainment industry experts estimate that her 52-date tour could bring in $620 million. She could retain about $500 million of this amount.
Forbes reported that the $500 million figure is based on a ticket average of $215. Her actual earnings could be $1.5 billion, if tickets are sold at $700.
It's not bad for someone with a huge reputation of making money off her music.
According to JPMorgan Chase & Co., the artist's hit Midnights album, which was released in October, generated $230 million for Universal last year. Swift's contribution to the company's recorded music revenue in 2022 was close to 3%, Bloomberg reported. The biggest increase came in the fourth quarter following the release of her album.