The U.S. hospitality industry is slowly getting back to business.
Leisure travelers are responsible for occupancy boosts in late May, especially Memorial Day weekend, STR reports.
Leisure travelers will continue to drive demand as the coronavirus crisis begins to ease, experts say.
Meanwhile, Oxford Tourism Economics reports that business transient and group bookings are not expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2023.
What meetings will look like in the near term is anyone’s guess in the age of social distancing. Will groups be smaller? Will they include overnight stays? Will they be a mix of remote and in-person attendees and presenters?
In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we talk with Jeff Loether of Electro-Media Design about the audiovisual tools hotels will have to consider using if they want to attract meeting and event business. We also hear from Kristi White of Knowland, which helps hotels find meeting and group business.
Resources and Links
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will be the industry’s first large event to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta event will be a hybrid format of in-person and virtual access, also an industry first. Lee Hunter, chairman of the conference, knows the level of expectation is high among other conference planners as well as industry professionals eager to network after more than a yearlong hiatus. Episode 316 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Hunter as he tells what it takes to re-launch the industry’s conference circuit amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The coronavirus crisis has dramatically altered the traditional competitive set most hotels use to benchmark their business performance. During the pandemic, properties have reduced services; they’ve closed either permanently or temporarily; or they’ve transitioned to alternative uses by contracting out to essential travelers or social agencies in search of housing. Episode 315 explores the genesis of the hotel industry comp set and how the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the strategic business tool. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.