AHLA: U.S. Hotels’ Corp. Travel Revenue on Rise, Short of ’19

U.S. hotels’ 2022 business travel revenue is on track to receiver to about 23 percent below 2019 levels, according to a new report by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs, released this week. That recovery, in line with other recent projections, still would represent a $20 billion drop in business travel revenue. 

Kalibri Labs 2022 projected hotel business travel revenue for each U.S. state and forecasts it to increase from 2019 levels in five—Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada and South Dakota. On the whole, though, the projected $69 billion in 2022 U.S. hotel business travel revenue remains short of the $89.6 billion recorded in 2019.

“With corporate travel policies still in flux, leisure travel will continue to recover faster in 2022, driving the hotel demand landscape,” according to the report, which added that business travel “is not expected to fully recover until 2024.”

AHLA president and CEO Chip Roy in a statement pointed to “dwindling Covid-19 case counts” and relaxed U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for “a sense of optimism for reigniting travel,” adding that “this report underscores how tough it will be for many hotels and hotel employees to recover from years of lost revenue.”

Of the 50 U.S. cities analyzed, Kalibri projected 2022 business travel hotel revenue to decline by at least 50 percent from 2019 levels in four: San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and San Jose. Three are projected to show an increase: San Bernardino, Calif., Knoxville, Tenn., and Las Vegas, where the forecast 17.7 percent increase far outpaces any other city.

In recent weeks, suppliers including Delta Air Lines, American Express Global Business Travel and TripActions have cited rapidly increasing business travel volume since roughly mid-February.

Hoteliers Prep for Business Return

Meanwhile, a few hoteliers at Cvent’s Connect conference in Las Vegas last week agreed that business travel demand is accelerating as pandemic restrictions wane. 

“We’re finally seeing occupancies pick up very strongly and a lot of interest in meetings,” said Sonesta International Hotels Corp. CEO John Murray, who assumed that position April 1.

“We’ve seen business travel come back in a way that’s very encouraging,” said Aimbridge Hospitality president and CEO Michael Deitemeyer. Aimbridge is the third-largest manager of hotels in the world, according to Deitemeyer, who added, “Barring a recession and other economic issues, we’re anticipating are projecting a very strong fourth quarter.”

Leave a Comment