Publications

- May 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 5

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Do not disturb: Hotels bide their time until recovery

by Kali Persall

The hospitality sector faced a punishing loss of income in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has come to be regarded by some as the worst tragedy to impact the lodging industry in modern history.

Hotel demand faced considerable headwinds as the industry dealt with historically low occupancy, business closures, and nationwide travel restrictions. A State of the Industry report by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) notes at the peak of the pandemic’s impact on hotels in April 2020, revenue per available room (RevPAR) dropped an unprecedented 80 percent compared with the year prior. CBRE says these declines in occupancy and RevPAR have not been seen since the Great Depression, and AHLA reports the overall impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry has so far been nine times that of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. As a result, hotel owners lost millions of dollars in operating income. Although this paints a grim picture of the in

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