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US Hotel Demand Won’t Regain Pre-Pandemic Levels Until 2023

Return to 2019 demand will take 11 quarters, analysts say, but weekly growth continues at a stead pace

June 29, 2020

Hotel demand in the US will not return completely to pre-pandemic levels until 2023, according to the latest forecast revision from hospitality industry analysts at STR and Tourism Economics. Demand projection for 2020 has actually improved compared with the last forecast, from minus 45 percent to minus 36.2 percent.

However, Jan Freitag, STR’s senior vice president of lodging insights, said it is now expected to take 11 quarters for the number of room nights sold to rise to the corresponding levels of 2019.

Furthermore, it will take until 2023 for occupancy to reach the 20-year historical average, Freitag added. With lower occupancy and more discounting, average daily rate will see an even a slower recovery timeline, despite an improving outlook in 2021. “We do not see ADR recovering to pre-2020 levels in the next five years,” said Freitag.

On a more positive note, Freitag said, “The good news is that demand and occupancy continue to rise slowly each week, and while slow, recovery should continue provided the country avoids significant setbacks in its progress against the coronavirus.”