2022 hotel business travel revenue projected to be within 1% of 2019 levels

U.S. leisure hotel travel revenue is expected to end 2022 14% above 2019 levels, while hotel travel revenue is expected to be within 1% of 2019 levels, according to new analysis released this month (Oct. 2022) by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Kalibri Labs.

The forecasts are not adjusted for inflation, and real hotel revenue recovery will likely take several more years.

Post-pandemic recovery remains uneven, especially in many major cities and destinations where business travel continues to lag. Among the top 50 US markets, 80% are expected to see hotel travel revenue exceed 2019 levels, but only 40% are expected to reach that milestone for business travel. Many urban markets, which rely heavily on business from events and group meetings, are still on the road to recovery.

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Here’s how the top ten markets for hotel business and leisure travel are projected to fare this year:

*Source: Kalibri Labs

The increase in revenue is leading to historic career opportunities for hotel employees, with more than 115,000 hotel jobs open across the country. Hotels offer potential employees a variety of incentives to fill vacancies — 81% have increased wages, 64% offer greater flexibility with hours and 35% have expanded benefits, according to a September 2022 AHLA member survey.

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“The hotel industry continues its march towards recovery, but we still have a way to go before we get there fully,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “That’s why AHLA continues to focus on working with members, legislators and stakeholders in slower-recovering markets to ensure the full return on meetings, conferences and group travel beyond leisure and business travel. At the same time, we continue to grow the industry’s talent pipeline by elevating to the unparalleled career opportunities hotels offer. Thanks to higher salaries, better benefits and more flexibility and opportunities for advancement, there has never been a better time to work in a hotel.”

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To help hotels fill vacancies and raise awareness of the hospitality industry’s 200+ career paths, the AHLA Foundation’s multi-channel advertising campaign “A Place to Stay” is active in 14 cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego and Tampa. For more information on the promotion, visit thehotelindustry.com.

AHLA recently concluded a series of “Hospitality Works” events in major cities across the country. The campaign has sought to increase business and leisure travel while highlighting the hotel industry’s strong commitment to investing in its workforce, protecting employees and guests and supporting local communities.

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