Despite the shellacking that hotels received—and its parent industry, tourism—from the pandemic, the beginnings of a recovery appear to be taking place.
April was a tough month across all hotel brands, but business has been on the uptick every month since then, according to a Placer.ai report. The average decline in stays in July was over 42% but, in August, that number across four major chains fell to 35.8%.
Further, at Best Westerns and Hilton Garden Inns nationwide in August, visits were down only 21% and 34.6%, respectively, year-over-year, an improvement from the month before, when visits to the chains were 30.2% and 44.2% down. That data speaks “volumes for the pent-up consumer demand for travel,” the post said.
Even hard-hit states are posting good results. Guest stays at Hilton Garden Inns in Texas went from a steep 70.3% decline year-over-year in May to a 37.7% dip in August. The bleeding was similarly stopped at the brand’s properties in Florida, California and New York.
Traffic at airports—another key component of the travel experience—also seems to be recovering, albeit the picture on that front varies a bit by market. Placer.ai analyzed flight data at six major airports, finding trips have inched up, slowly, every month since May at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Still, traffic there was down 85.6% year-over-year in August, which is only a slight improvement from July, which posted an 88.6% dip in business.
However, traffic at DFW International Airport, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, was closer to the levels seen in 2019 than that of any of the other five airports. August visits fell by 51.5% year-over-year, compared to a 70.4% decline in June.
Data for the first three full weeks of September at other terminals also shows signs of promise. While travel wasn’t robust, declines slowed at Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Miami International Airport, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Such results are “giving hope that cross-country and intercontinental air traffic is on a path back to normalcy,” according to Placer.ai.
“It seems as though the pent up consumer demand for travel is significant, giving a positive outlook to an industry in desperate need of a recovery.”