Coronavirus has led to ‘worst hotel market’ in history: Hotel operator

MCR CEO Tyler Morse argues an instantaneous coronavirus test would help the travel and hotel industries because it would end the need for 14-day quarantines.

It’s going to be a quiet holiday season for the hotel industry, a new travel survey suggests.

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The American Hotel & Lodging Association says 7 out of 10 Americans are unlikely to travel for Christmas, according to its survey of 2,200 adults.

This statistic from the AHLA comes just as the number of coronavirus cases have surged in the U.S., which has ultimately led the CDC to recommend Americans refrain from travel and in-person gatherings for the winter holiday season.

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According to the COVID-19 Dashboard from Johns Hopkins, more than 16 million Americans have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 300,420 people have lost their lives in relation to the illness.

The severity of the pandemic in the U.S. appears to have taken a toll on the hotel industry as millions of people continue to shelter in place.

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In the week ending on Dec. 5, the AHLA says nationwide hotel occupancy was at 37% while urban market hotel occupancy was at 29%.

Almost 70% of Americans won’t be traveling for Christmas, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. (iStock)

Of the 3 out of 10 who intend to travel for Christmas this year, 74% said they will be staying with family or friends.

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The survey also found that 32% of Americans haven’t taken an overnight vacation since March. Similarly, 92% of working Americans have not taken an overnight business trip since then.

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Beyond Christmas, 65% of Americans said they think it’s unlikely that they’ll travel for spring break in 2021.

And 62% of the survey’s employed respondents said they have no plans for a business-related hotel stay.

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More than 4 out of 10 (44%) told the AHLA that they think their next vacation-related hotel stay will happen in a year or more from now. The stark statistics have impacted the hotel industry.

“We understand the importance of following CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the government’s actions. However, with the dramatic decline in travel, hotels will face a harsh winter through no fault of our own,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers, in a statement.

“Millions of Americans are out of work, and thousands of small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open,” he added. “We cannot afford to wait until the next Congress is sworn in for relief. We need help now.”

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