By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) — A new report finds that hotel business travel revenue is expected to rebound to near pre-pandemic levels, though several California cities are projected to see revenue lagging below 2019 levels.
U.S. hotel business travel revenue for 2022 is projected to come within 1% of 2019 levels, according to a report released Monday from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Leisure travel hotel revenue for 2022 is projected to come in 14% above 2019 levels, according to the analysis by AHLA and Kalibri Labs.
Despite overall projections indicating hotel business travel revenue is returning to near pre-pandemic levels, most California cities included in the report – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anaheim, Sacramento and San Jose – are expected to finish 2022 with hotel business travel revenue coming in below 2019 levels.
According to the report, San Francisco’s hotel business travel revenue is projected to come in 40% below 2019 levels, while San Jose’s projected revenue is projected to come in 32.7% under pre-pandemic levels. Other California cities, including Los Angeles, Anaheim and Sacramento, also have projected hotel business travel revenue coming in below 2019 levels, while San Bernardino and Sacramento are projected to exceed 2019 revenue for hotel business travel.
Peter Hillan, spokesperson for the California Hotel and Lodging Association, told The Center Square that reliance on remote work likely had an impact on hotel business travel revenue in San Francisco and San Jose in particular, as well as the two counties being “slower to reduce COVID-19 restrictions” in comparison to other counties within California and other states.
Mr. Hillan also noted that the “slow recovery of international travel” is likely impacting the recovery of both business and leisure travel in several California cities.
“Many countries were much slower than the U.S., particularly in Asia, to allow international travel,” Mr. Hillan said. “We’re waiting for that to kick up.”
On the tourism side, the report projects San Francisco’s hotel leisure travel revenue for 2022 will come in 18.7% below 2019 levels, splintering from several other cities across the state that are projected to see increases in leisure travel revenue.
According to the report, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Diego, Sacramento and San Bernardino are projected to end the year eclipsing 2019 figures for hotel leisure travel revenue. Anaheim is projected to finish the year with a 23.5% increase in hotel leisure travel revenue compared to 2019, San Bernardino is expected to see a 24.8% increase, and San Diego is projected to see a nearly 20% increase.
Alongside San Francisco, San Jose is projected to see leisure travel revenue come in roughly 6% under 2019 levels.
The report notes that the 2022 projects are not adjusted for inflation, adding that “real hotel revenue recovery will likely take several more years.”
Overall, Mr. Hillan said the report indicates “2022 became a more aggressive recovery year” than what was originally expected, particularly with leisure travel.
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.