While leisure travel has finally gotten traction post Covid-19, the road to recovery for the hotel industry is long with 21 of the top 25 U.S. hotel markets remaining in a depression or recession. This is according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), which released a new report on the state of the hotel industry and hotels post Covid-19. The new data shows urban hotels are still in a “depression” cycle while the overall U.S. hotel industry remains in a “recession.”
In the report, a depression is worse than recession.
New York City, which recently launched a major $30 million tourism marketing campaign, the largest the city has spent on to lure back visitors, is still in a depression. The 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. Travelbinger was among the first to report the city’s first hotel, Times Square Edition, closing due to Covid-19.
The U.S. markets that are in a depression include: San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, NYC, Chicago, Seattle and Minneapolis. Urban areas were hit the hardest, showing a -52% difference in revenue per available room.
Tampa and Miami are the only 2 cities in the top 25 U.S. hotel markets that are in a peak. For hotels post Covid-19, the cities are doing well.
The recent uptick in leisure travel for summer is encouraging for the hotel industry, according to AHLA, but business and group travel, the industry’s largest source of revenue, could take longer to recover, especially at hotels post Covid-19. Business travel is down and not expected to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023 or 2024. Major events, conventions and business meetings have also already been canceled or postponed until at least 2022.
The report shows the economic devastation still facing hotel markets and underscores the need for targeted relief from Congress for the ailing industry, according to AHLA. Hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure industry yet to receive direct aid despite being among the hardest hit.
In July 2020, AHLA reported that 8,000 hotels may close due to Covid-19. While no one has reported the total number of hotels that closed due to the pandemic, it’s thankfully only been a handful across the U.S. Most hotels that reportedly closed during the pandemic reopened, since the closures were only temporary — for now.
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