Tourism Will Bounce Back Soon, But Business Trips May Not

January 29, 2021

After a year pent up, tourists are eager to start traveling again this year, but business travelers may not be making reservations any time soon. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), 56% of Americans say they are likely to travel for leisure in 2021. How soon they being to travel depends on the vaccine rollout, as 48% of those surveyed say their willingness depends on vaccination in some way.

While this is welcome news for the hard-hit hospitality industry, an important customer base, business travelers, may not return so quickly. A recent AHLA report found that business travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2023 or 2024. Business travel is expected to be down 85% from its pre-pandemic level through April, and then it will climb gradually.

Even with pent up demand from tourists, the AHLA expects half of all hotel rooms to remain unoccupied through 2021.

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