According to a new report published by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, U.S. hotel business travel revenue is expected to be 23% below pre-COVID-19 levels in 2022, ending the year down more than $20 billion from last year. 2019.
It comes after hotels lost an estimated $108 billion in business travel revenue in 2020 and 2021 combined.
The study was published by AHLA and performed by Kalibri Labs.
While the easing of COVID-related restrictions means leisure travel is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, business travel, which is the hospitality industry’s main source of income, will put a lot more time to recover. Corporate travel includes corporate, group, government and other commercial categories.
In Kentucky, business travel hotel revenue in 2022 is expected to be $772,758,897, according to the report. In 2019, it was $701,027,006, meaning this year will be down another $71,731,890, a 9.3% loss from three years ago.
“While declining COVID-19 case counts and easing of CDC guidelines provide a sense of optimism for travel recovery, this report underscores how difficult it will be for many hotels and hotel employees to hotels to recover from years of lost revenue,” said Chip Rogers, president. and CEO of AHLA. “The good news is that after two years of working virtually, Americans are recognizing the unparalleled value of face-to-face meetings and saying they’re ready to get back on the road for business travel.”
Many urban markets, which rely heavily on events and group gatherings, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
That includes Louisville, traditionally one of the nation’s top 50 business destinations, which saw a larger percentage decline than the state as a whole.
Although 2022 figures are not available, in 2021 business travel revenue in Louisville was $100,363,061. Compared to $312,094,114 in 2019, this represented a decrease of $211,731,053, or almost 68%.
The new report follows a recent AHLA survey, which found that 64% of U.S. employees and 77% of business travelers agree that bringing business travel back is more important than ever. The survey also found that 80% of US employees and 86% of business travelers say face-to-face interactions are important to maximizing business success.
Changing sentiments around business travel are supported by a recent analysis conducted by San Diego State University School of Hospitality & Tourism Management on behalf of AHLA which found that business travel and in-person meetings have clear advantages over virtual options and that businesses and organizations who quickly resume business travel and meetings are likely to have a competitive advantage over those who do not.
American Hotel and Lodging Association