US Hotel Business Travel Revenue Seen as Down 23% in 2022 Against 2019
Research from AHLA and Kalibri Labs shows urban markets most affected >>
by: Harvey Chipkin
US hotel business travel revenue is projected to be 23% below pre-pandemic levels in 2022, according to a new report from the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs. That revenue, according to the report, is projected to be down more than $20 billion compared with 2019. This comes after hotels lost an estimated $108 billion in business travel revenue during 2020 and 2021 combined. While leisure travel is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, business travel — which includes corporate, group, government and other commercial categories — is the hotel industry’s largest source of revenue and will take significantly longer to recover, according to the report. Chip Rogers, CEO of AHLA, said that while dwindling COVID-19 case counts and relaxed CDC guidelines are providing a sense of optimism for reigniting travel, this report underscores how tough it will be for many hotels and hotel employees to recover from years of lost revenue. The good news, he said, is that after two years of virtual work arrangements, “Americans recognize the unmatched value of face-to-face meetings and say they are ready to start getting back on the road for business travel.” Many urban markets, which rely heavily on business from events and group meetings, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The 10 markets projected to end 2022 with the largest percentage declines in hotel business travel revenue are (in order of greatest percentage loss against 2019): San Francisco, New York, Washington DC area, San Jose, Chicago, Boston, Oakland, Seattle, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.