USA: Long haul to recovery

USA: Long haul to recovery

Despite an increase in leisure travel, a new report released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows that the road to recovery for the industry remains a long one.

The new data from benchmarking specialist STR, shows that 21 of the top 25 US hotel markets remain in a depression or recession. Urban hotels are still in a ‘depression’ cycle while the overall US hotel industry remains in a ‘recession’.

Urban markets, which rely heavily on business from events and group meetings, continue to face a severe financial crisis as they have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Urban hotels were down 52% in room revenue in May 2021 compared to May 2019. New York City has seen one-third of its hotel rooms (42,030 rooms) wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic, with nearly 200 hotels closing in the city.

Suburban and airport properties remain in the recession category; resort properties are in the stabilising/recovery stage, but were nominally down (-1%) in the year-on-year comparison. The recent uptick in leisure travel for summer is encouraging, but business and group travel, the industry’s largest source of revenue, will take significantly longer to recover. Business travel is down and not expected to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023 or 2024, according to most estimates. Many major events, conventions and business meetings across the country have also already been cancelled or postponed until at least 2022.

Source: Corporate Travel Community / Blue Swan Daily.