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U.S. hotel market – 2017-18 school break calendars will alter hotel demand patterns

Profile Photo By: Carsten Hennig
June 8, 2017

U.S. hotel market – 2017-18 school break calendars will alter hotel demand patterns

Hendersonville, Tennessee – 8 June 2017 –
The School Break Report from STR shows two significant school holiday shifts for the 2017-18 academic year and a wide variance in overall U.S. school calendars.

“Hoteliers continue see how holiday calendar shifts of two weeks or even one day can impact a significant period of demand,” said Chris Klauda, STR’s director of destination research. “We will see several important shifts this year, such as a more concentrated spring break and more students on break during the first week of January. It is vital to identify and anticipate these specific patterns of the markets feeding hotel business.” 

Key findings from the 2017-18 School Break Report include:

  • The Easter calendar shift from 16 April 2017 to 1 April 2018 will result in a more concentrated spring break season with more than two-thirds of public school students on break during the 2018 Easter weekend. In 2017, less than half of those students were on break at that time.  
  • More public school students will have their Winter/Christmas break extended into January with just less than half of all public school students on break during the first week of January 2018 compared with only one-fourth in 2017. 
  • The Presidents’ Day break appears to be becoming more popular with just shy of one-third of all public school students on break in 2018 compared with just less than one-fourth in 2017.
  • The start of the public school year ranges seven weeks from 19 July to 7 September (shifting only one day compared with last year).
  • Public school end dates range almost eight weeks from 3 May to 27 June (also shifting one day compared with last year).
  • College/university calendars show later start dates compared with public school districts. Classes begin as early as 14 August and as late as 28 September. 
  • The college/university window of end dates begins more than a week earlier than public school districts, ranging from 23 April to 17 June. 
  • Public school districts and colleges/universities each have a 55-day range in end dates. 

“When combining 2018 public school end dates and estimated 2018 public school start dates, we see only three weeks (28 June-18 July) with all traditional school districts on summer vacation,” Klauda said. 

The School Break Report, a forward-looking tool utilized to plan for vacation hotel demand, includes information for more than 1,000 public school districts and 500 four-year universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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