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Total hotel revenues in urban markets are down 52% since May 2019, but Tampa and Miami are outpacing pre-Covid-19 sales, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Despite an uptick in travel, a new report from the American Hotel & Lodging Association shows that 21 of the top 25 U.S. hotel markets are in a depression or recession. The data reveals the overall hotel industry is in a recession while urban hotels, specifically, are even worse off.
Urban hotel room revenues were down 52% in May compared to May 2019. Urban markets, which rely heavily on business from events and group meetings, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Cities with depressed hotel sectors are San Francisco, down 70% from May 2019; Boston (-67%); Washington, D.C. (-65%); New York (-62%); Chicago (-59%); Seattle (-56%) and Minneapolis (-51%).
Only hotels in two Florida cities in the top 25 markets—Tampa and Miami—are pacing above 2019 revenue levels. In addition, overall hotel revenues have stabilized for small towns, resorts and interstate properties, the report shows.
States are restarting their economic engines this summer and several are planning to use federal stimulus dollars to help bring back tourists.
Travel spending in the U.S. fell significantly in 2020 because of the pandemic—spending on business travel alone plummeted 70%. Tourism-dependent states are hoping to make up some of the lost revenue by aiding affected hospitality sectors and launching advertising campaigns to attract visitors.
The recent uptick in leisure travel is an encouraging sign, but business and group travel, which are the industry’s largest source of revenue, will take until 2023 or 2024 to recover, the hotel association says. That’s due in part to conventions and business meetings being canceled or postponed until at least 2022.
The organization and the largest hospitality workers’ union are calling on Congress to provide the “assistance they need to survive” by passing the bipartisan Save Hotel Jobs Act. “While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in a statement.
Jean Dimeo is managing editor of Route Fifty.
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