The new Delta variant increases the number of COVID-19 cases. And according to a new survey conducted for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), 67% of business travelers plan to take fewer trips because of it.
Less business trips thanks to the Delta variant
Beyond the 67% who will take fewer trips, 52% also said they are likely to cancel their existing travel plans without rescheduling. And another 60% said they plan to postpone existing travel plans. And for those who travel, 66% are more likely to go to destinations they can reach by car.
Business travel data is particularly important as the AHLA reports that business travel and events account for more than half of hotel revenues. And to make matters worse, he says things are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
The report goes on to say that the repercussions extend far beyond the hospitality industry. Although hotels are expected to have nearly 500,000 fewer jobs in 2021 compared to 2019, 1.3 million jobs supported by hotels are also at risk. Indeed, for every 10 people directly employed by a hotel, they support 26 additional jobs in the community. This includes everything from restaurants and retail to hotel supply companies, transportation, security and more.
On the business side, travel will only remain at 30% of 2019 levels through 2021. The report says the low number of business trips will cost the hospitality industry around $ 59 billion in 2021.
In addition to business travel, the survey also asked about attendance at large gatherings, meetings and events. Of the 72% or 1,590 people who responded, 71% say they are likely to attend fewer in-person events or gatherings. And more than two-thirds or 67% said they were likely to have shorter meetings or events. Those who are likely to postpone existing meetings or events to a later date represent 59%. And nearly half or 49% are likely to cancel existing meetings or events without plans to reschedule.
Register the law on hotel jobs
The industry expects Congress to address this issue by passing the Save Hotel Jobs Act. In the report’s press release, Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA, explains the importance of this bill. Rogers said, âHotel workers and small business owners across the country have been advocating for direct relief from the pandemic for over a year now. These results show why now is the time for Congress to heed these calls and pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act.
According to the AHLA, the hospitality and entertainment industry is one of the hardest hit segments of the economy. However, he has yet to receive direct help. With this legislation, many small businesses in the hospitality and leisure industry would have access to much-needed funds. They will be able to keep their staff employed and their businesses operating until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels. This is particularly the case for business trips.