The recovery of the US hospitality industry is far from over as an optimistic peak holiday season gives way to what can be a disappointing fall and holiday season.
About 1 billion hotel rooms will be booked in the country this year, according to a forecast by data and analytics firm STR reported by the Wall Street Journal. This figure marks a significant jump from 829 million in 2020, but a significant departure from the 1.3 billion hotel rooms booked in 2019.
A decline in business travel revenues is proving to be a blow to the industry. The American Hotel & Lodge Association previously predicted a $ 59 billion drop in business travel revenue from 2019. The Journal noted that this was a larger drop than the previous year. , which had only registered a decline of $ 49 billion.
There are some promising signs in the area. Group demand, a measure that incorporates both business and leisure travel, rose 5.7% in the last two weeks of September, according to STR forecast. Average daily rates for groups jumped $ 16 during that time to a pandemic high of $ 214.
Hotel owners are also hoping that rising vaccination rates and the holiday season will attract tourists in the coming colder months. Fully vaccinated international travelers will be able to travel to the United States starting next month.
Amid hopes of a slight hike – and additional pressure from a bill requiring some hotels to pay service employee severance pay – two of New York’s top hotels have launched a process reopening. The New York Hilton Midtown reopened on Monday, while the Grand Hyatt in Midtown is expected to reopen in early November.
The city’s besieged industry appears to mirror the uphill battle facing hotels across the country. As lockdown measures were rolled back amid widespread vaccine distribution this spring, the industry has seen promising increases in customer numbers, but remains pale by pre-pandemic rates, with revenue per available room down 62% in May compared to the same period in 2019..
An April report from CBRE predicted that New York City hotel occupancy rates would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.
[WSJ] – Holden Walter Warner