Hotel industry could be down more than $59 billion in business travel compared to 2019

The historic Franklin Hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

The hotel industry could end 2021 down more than $59 billion in business travel revenue compared to 2019, according to a new report released today by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Kalibri Labs.

That comes after losing nearly $49 billion in business travel revenue in 2020.

Business travel is the hotel industry’s largest source of revenue and has been slow to return since the onset of the pandemic. Business travel includes corporate, group, government, and other commercial categories. Business travel revenue is not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

“While some industries have started rebounding from the pandemic, this report is a sobering reminder that hotels and hotel employees are still struggling,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in a news release. “…Continued COVID-19 concerns among travelers will only exacerbate these challenges.”

The new analysis comes on the heels of a recent AHLA survey, which found that most business travelers are canceling, reducing, and postponing trips amid rising COVID-19 cases. AHLA officials argue the downturn in business travel and events has significant employment repercussions, and underscores the need for more federal relief, including the Save Hotel Jobs Act.

Hotels are expected to end 2021 down nearly 500,000 jobs compared to 2019

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