2024 Solar Eclipse Impact On Booking Activity

March 20, 2024
2 minute read

Many are anxiously awaiting the total solar eclipse in April 2024. This rare cosmic event will be visible from several locations across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. According to NASA, this event will be a rare chance to witness a total solar eclipse. 2044 will be the next time the United States will experience a total solar eclipse and it will only be visible from two states.

With such a rare event, Key Data has tracked the impact the 2024 Solar Eclipse is having on tourism in certain cities. While some cities experienced an early spike in bookings, certain locations are seeing a greater overall impact on reservations for the period of the eclipse.

2024 Solar Eclipse Impact By Location

Key Data tracked the markets on the path of the solar eclipse to examine the impact. These markets include:

  • Buffalo, NY
  • Burlington, VT
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Erie, PA
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Montreal, Quebec

Moderate Impact

Unlike the majority of markets on the path of the solar eclipse, Montreal, Quebec is not seeing a massive spike in occupancy. Montreal was pacing at 10.5% occupancy, compared to 7.5% in 2023 as of March 11th, 2024. While still 3% ahead of 2023,  it is not the spike in occupancy they may have expected.

However, Montreal does have a 25% higher average daily rate for the dates of the solar eclipse. Compared to $142 ADR in 2023, this year they are seeing an ADR of $177 for the dates of the solar eclipse. So, while the impact is not as drastic as some other locations on the path of the eclipse, they are still seeing an increase in demand.

Largest Occupancy Increases

Little Rock, AR, and Buffalo, NY, are seeing the largest increase in occupancy pacing from 2023 to 2024. During the total solar eclipse, both markets are seeing an increase in occupancy of 32-36% year-over-year.  

Occupancy in Little Rock was pacing at 5% last year as of March 11th, 2023, and was already at 41% on March 11th, 2024. Similarly, occupancy in Buffalo was pacing at 10% last year and was pacing at 43% this year as of March 11th, 2024. These are substantial increases in occupancy due to the draw of the total solar eclipse.

Largest Pricing Increases

Burlington, VT, and Indianapolis, IN are seeing the largest price increases from 2023 to 2024. They have both seen some impressive increases in rates due to the increased demand for the eclipse.

Rates in Burlington were pacing 78% higher than in 2023. As of March 11th, 2024, they were experiencing rates of $334 compared to $188 in 2023. Rates in Indianapolis were pacing 49% higher than last year as well, $229 in 2024 compared to $154 in 2023 for the time of the total solar eclipse. These impressive changes are due to the incredible number of tourists who are interested in witnessing such a rare natural event.

Dramatic Increases Over 2023

Pacing in Cleveland, OH was exceeding last year's final occupancy figures by 19% as of March 11th, 2024. The final occupancy for the eclipse weekend last year was 20% but was pacing at 39% in Cleveland. Similarly, Dallas was beating final occupancy in 2023 by 10%, with a 31% occupancy as of March 11th compared to 21% final occupancy in 2023. Erie, PA showed the same trend, with an 8% increase over final occupancy, 33% in 2024 compared to 25% in 2023.

In other words, these markets have already dramatically exceeded last year's final performance, despite there still being almost a month of booking activity left before the eclipse. This is an excellent example of the impact that major events can have on booking activity.

*Numbers based on scraped data for the date range 4/6/24 - 4/9/24 and includes reservations on the books as of March 11th, 2024.

Preparing For Local Events

The impact of the 2024 solar eclipse is clear. While Cleveland had a significant increase in adjusted paid occupancy, areas in Ohio outside of the eclipse path like Clermont, didn't show a difference year-over-year. We've seen this many times, with popular events such as Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, various spring breaks, and the coronation of King Charles III. So, it's important to not only monitor upcoming events in your area but to closely watch changes in booking trends to maximize revenue.

By utilizing your Key Data Dashboard, you can quickly spot changes in market trends for quick reactions. Plus, tools like DemandIQ™ within the dashboard can help property managers to identify where potential guests are booking from, and when they are searching for. This can help you to determine stay length requirements that can give you a competitive edge if potential guests are searching for bookings with a shorter length of stay than the minimum you’ve set.

Interested to see how you can use data to maximize the impact of local events and stay up-to-date with developing market trends? Contact us for a free demo of the Key Data Dashboard or subscribe for weekly updates from our blog.

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