“It is important for hoteliers to understand how even a one- or two-day change in the start or end date of a school break can impact an entire week of demand,” said Chris Klauda, STR’s director of destination research. “We will see several important shifts this year, such as a more fragmented spring break, and it is critical to identify the specific break patterns of the markets feeding hotel business.”
Key findings from the 2016-17 School Break Report include:
- The start and end of the winter/Christmas holiday break will be pushed back by two days, resulting in 40% fewer students on break during the week before Christmas and 30% more students on break during the first week of January.
- The Easter calendar shift from 27 March 2016 to 16 April 2017 will result in a more drawn-out spring break season with some schools off in March and others in April.
- The Presidents’ Day break, which primarily affects public school districts, will be one week later compared to last year.
- The start of the public school year ranges seven weeks from 18 July to 8 September.
- Public school end dates range almost eight weeks from 4 May 2017 to 28 June 2017.
- College/university calendars show later start dates compared with public school districts. Classes begin as early as 1 August and as late as 29 September.
- The college/university window of end dates begins more than a week earlier than public school districts, ranging from 23 April 2017 to 17 June 2017.
- Public school districts and colleges/universities each have a 55-day range in end dates.
“Combining 2017 public school end dates and estimated 2017 public school start dates yields only three weeks (29 June-17 July) with all traditional school districts on summer vacation,” Klauda said.
The School Break Report, a forward-looking tool used 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. Licenses can be purchased by firstname.lastname@example.org.