- October 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 9

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Summer vacation: The pace of travel may decrease amid the spreading Delta variant, but hotel CEOs remain optimistic

by Andrea Zander

The pent-up demand from U.S. travelers, as well as the easing of travel and other restrictions, has allowed for renewed interest in travel and tourism, with families embarking on long-delayed trips, and businesses scheduling in-person meetings again. The U.S. hotel industry’s occupancy levels in June were the highest recorded since October 2019, reaching 66.1 percent, according to data from research firm STR.

Hotel operators are seeing sales double from a year ago as tourism is recovering during the first half of 2021 and reaching occupancy rates similar to pre-pandemic levels.

Overall, the U.S. hotel real estate sector rebounded strongly in the second quarter to $130.9 billion, the third-highest second quarter after 2019 and 2007, reported CBRE, after four consecutive quarters of year-over-year decline. In percentage terms, growth was strongest in the hotel sector, up 1,575 percent, reaching $439.9 million in the second quarter, compared with $23.3 million a year ag

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