With Miami’s sandy beaches, cultural sophistication and international exposure, it is no surprise that the city has positioned itself in 2012 as a sought-after domestic and international tourist destination. Miami is outperforming national averages and standing out as one of the top markets for hospitality in the U.S.

According to data assembled by Smith Travel Research, for the first half of 2012 Greater Miami and the Beaches showed increases (as compared to 2011) and consistently ranked in the top 3 hotel markets in the country based on occupancy, average daily room rate and revenue per available room.

For January-June 2012, Miami ranked #3 in revenue per available room (RevPar) at $140.99, #2 in average daily rate (ADR) at $178.09 and #3 in Hotel Room Occupancy at 79.2%. Miami was only beaten by the New York City and Oahu Island Hawaii markets.

In February of this year, Miami ranked #1 in ADR and RevPar and #2 in Hotel Room Occupancy. Room rates are also going up–with an increase of 8.1% from February 2011 to February 2012.  For relevant market data, monthly statistics and all of the latest happenings about town, William Talbert III, President of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, hosts a useful website.

Recent South Beach Hotel Deals

Domestic and international investors have seen the continued magnetism and strength of Miami and plan to leverage these in the upcoming years. As a result, we are seeing more hotels change ownership hands and new hotel brands come to market- both small and large. For example, the Greystone Hotel, a 1939 boutique hotel with a high-end restaurant and lounge located at 1920 Collins Avenue just sold for $7.5 million. The Traymore Hotel, located just five blocks away on Collins, sold in early 2012 for $17.5 million, a price much higher than the debt from the prior defaulted loan.

The largest hotel deal thus far was the sale of the Perry Hotel – formerly known as the Gansevoort – which as purchased by three major real estate and hospitality players: Starwood Capital Group; the LeFrak Organization and Invesco Ltd. These sales and investment opportunities signal long-term confidence in the Miami hospitality market.

See also: Luxury Hotel Market Hot in Miami Beach…and Getting Hotter