STR Report: How to Get It and How to Read It

Hotel start report sign

The hospitality industry is competitive. Hotel brands are always striving to better understand the marketplace and trends to attract more travelers and increase occupancy rates.

One way to do that is with the STR report.

Since 1985, STR has provided benchmarking, insights and analytics to hotels across the globe. It’s one of the most recognized and relied upon tools in the industry, and it provides valuable information to hotels on a weekly basis.

From how to get it to how to read it, here’s what hotel management and stakeholders need to know about the STR report.


What is the STR Report?

Pronounced “STAR report,” the STR report is a weekly benchmark report generated by Smith Travel Research. It helps hotels evaluate performance against their competitors. CoStar Group Inc. acquired Smith Travel Research in 2019 and continues to provide the hotel business with valuable benchmarking data.

Here’s how it works:

Participating hotels provide STR with their hotel performance metrics, such as:

  • How many rooms they sold
  • How much they charged for those rooms
  • How many rooms remained unoccupied

STR then compiles the data of all the hotels that provide their info to create the report. Hotels that receive the report use it to gauge how well they’re performing against their competitive set.

Determining factors for competitive sets include:

The purpose of the STR report is for hotels to see how they measure up vs. the competition. Participating hotels don’t see the data for every hotel — just for hotels in their competitive set, as determined by STR.

Stakeholders use this information to improve their strategies so that they can increase occupancy rates and manage hotel revenue.

Hotels pay a monthly fee to receive STR’s in-depth weekly reports.

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Hotels Must Provide STR with Information to Receive the Report

Business professionals reviewing an star report hotel

To obtain the weekly report, hotels must provide several data points to be included in a competitive set.

 

Rooms Revenue

Hotels must report all revenue generated from guest room rentals, including:

  • No shows
  • Surcharges and service fees
  • Partial day and “day use” revenue
  • Upgraded rooms types, such as pet-friendly, smoking, high floor and ocean view rooms
  • Late departure fees
  • Crib/rollaway bed rentals

When reporting rooms revenue, hotels should exclude:

  • Pet or smoking fees charged as a penalty
  • Gratuities
  • Government-mandated taxes or surcharges
  • Resort fees

 

Rooms Sold

Participating hotels must provide all figures regarding:

  • Number of revenue-generating rooms sold
  • Number of rooms sold under partial or “day-use” rates
  • Rooms booked with a promotion, such as “pay for two nights and stay the third night free”

Hotels should exclude data for comped rooms and owner-occupied condos or suites (if applicable) from this figure.

 

Rooms Available

Participating hotels must provide STR with the total room availability. This may change based on seasonality or in an owner/occupation condo or timeshare scenario.

 

Segmentation Revenue

STR wants to know what type of travelers are generating revenue for your hotel.

They segment travelers into three categories:

  • Transient
  • Groups
  • Contract

Transient

STR defines the transient group as anyone traveling as an individual or in a group of fewer than ten people staying a maximum of ten nights at your hotel.

Groups

If you have ten or more rooms booked by a party of travelers on a given night, this data falls under the STR group designation. Group bookings are typical for hotels that contract with corporations, tour groups, conventions and governments.

Contract

The contract segmentation refers to group bookings where rooms are booked for a period of 30 days or more.

Examples of contract bookings include:

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How to Obtain the STR Report

The first step in obtaining a STR report is to fill out an application. Hotels must meet certain standards to qualify. If you do qualify, you’ll have to pay to receive the detailed weekly reports.


How Much Does the STR Report Cost?

Woman holding a money bag

STR offers three different types of reports:

  • Free Hotel Survey
  • Trend Analysis
  • Paid Weekly Report

The free Hotel Survey provides market performance data for hotels that submit their data. The free report offers limited data only.

STR also offers Trend Analysis reports for a one-time fee of $600. The Trend Analysis provides valuable data to hotels that don’t want to pay for a monthly plan. The downside is that it’s an overview of the hotel industry rather than a detailed report that displays your individual hotel data vs. your comp set.

With a paid monthly subscription, hotels can receive weekly in-depth analysis of their property performance vs. their competitors. While you can glean some information from the free survey and trend analysis, the weekly in-depth report provides the most insight.

STR does not publish its pricing plans online. Hotels must contact STR directly to learn their current prices and subscription options.


What Data Does STR Provide?

The STR report provides data on a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs). Hotel brands can analyze these KPIs to learn where to adjust their business to increase revenue.

 

Occupancy Rates

Hotel occupancy rates are calculated as a percentage based on the number of rooms occupied divided by the total amount of rooms available. In the STR report, you’ll see if your occupancy rates are higher, lower or on par with competing hotels.

 

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

The average room rate is the total revenue earned divided by the number of rooms sold, resulting in an average rate per night. This number is an average across all rooms and all room types, regardless of each room’s features.

 

Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR)

To calculate a hotel’s RevPAR, STR divides the total room revenue by the number of rooms available — occupied and unoccupied.

 

Year-Over-Year (YOY) Comparison

Displayed on the STR report in percent changes, the year-over-year comparison shows how your hotel performance this year measures up to your performance from the same period last year.

 

Segmentation Analysis

Segmentation analysis compares a property’s transient, group and contract bookings to its comp set. The report breaks this information down for the month and by day of the week.

Are most of your bookings on weekends? Become a member of Hotel Engine to increase weekday occupancy rates with more business travelers, group bookings and contract bookings.

 

Additional Revenue Analysis

This portion of the STR reports on food and beverage charges. It also includes a ranking index that shows exactly where you rank against the other hotels in your comp set.


Tips for Analyzing the STR Report

The weekly STR report has 18 pages; learning to read and understand it takes time.

Here are some tips to make your STR report easier to read:

  1. Keep in mind that the data from your hotel is excluded from the comp set. This makes it easier to see how your data compares to the other hotels included in your competitive set. If your hotel outperforms competitors, your data will not skew the numbers.
  1. If you only read one report page, make it Tab 2, the Month-at-a-Glance page. This page is a quick overview of the most critical data for the current month, including comparisons between your hotel and your comp set.
  2. Take the time to learn how your index is calculated. Your index indicates whether you performed better or worse than the comp set, and you can use it as an easy way to scan the data.
  1. Pay more attention to week over week and month to month figures than year over year. COVID-19 travel restrictions likely skewed the data from last year.

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Conclusion

The STR report provides hotel brands with a wealth of information to help them better understand their position in the market. Once hotels know their position, they can adjust their business model to rank closer to the top of their competitive set.

Yes, hotels have to give STR data they might not be so inclined to share. But what hotels receive in return is of far greater value.

By partnering with Hotel Engine, hotel brands can increase long-term bookings and bring in more consistent year-round revenue with weekly business travelers. As an HE partner, providing your data to STR will become something that you’re proud to do.