Tuesday, April 13, 2021

‘The Start of a Comeback’ in 5 US Cities

As the Kovid-19 vaccination picked up and resumed business across the country, the Easter weekend saw a resurgence of tourist activity in some cities, perhaps a turning point for the struggling tourism industry.

Chip Rogers, President and Chief Operating Officer American Hotel & Lodging AssociationThe trade organization for the hospitality industry said that prior to last weekend, the recovery had become “very regionalized”, doing well in places like Florida and Texas, and “cities that managed big meetings and conferences like Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas” Are “struggling to recover.”

“You are seeing really good pickup on weekend dates, which has increased now. Traditionally they are Friday to Sunday, now Thursday to Monday. But lack Business travel means bookings on weekdays continue to decline. Still, he said, there is a reason for “cautious optimism”.

But travelers, even those who are fully vaccinated, should exercise caution when visiting certain states, health experts warn. Case numbers are increasing in some popular destinations such as Florida, which saw a spike in the form of revelers during spring break. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommend that people continue wearing masks, social distance, and frequently wash their hands, even if some local governments have relaxed or removed these regulations.

Take a look at what happened over the weekend in five major US cities and what it could mean for the future of the tourism industry.

New York City survived last weekend as many businesses and industries closed since it resumed on April 1, offering sports and concert venues as well as some hotels and sightseeing at a reduced capacity Also included in the trip. These reunions, along with warm weather and increasing rates of vaccinations, seem to be a boon for the tourism industry, said Chris Heywood, executive vice president of communications for NYC & Co, the city’s official tourism organization.

“It just seems like a lot of positive news is coming out.”

Times Square, perhaps the best port for tourist activity in the city, had its highest hiking count so far in the region, which according to the Times Square Alliance is about 150,000 per day, tracking the activity in the area is. This is up 394 percent from the same weekend as last year, but still far from prependemic numbers. During the same weekend in 2019, an average of about 364,000 people visited the area per day, an Alliance spokesperson said.

“We have a road leading up to the reopening of Broadway, which will be a significant increase in tourism for the city and Times Square,” said Tom Harris, acting president of the Alliance. What Times Square has to offer after a long time. “

The warming season and comparatively relaxed Kovid-19 regulations have attracted many tourists to Miami and the surrounding area. As a result, said Greg Galley, who is the owner Found miamiA restaurant in Miami Beach, many have traveled from outside the state for extended stay – especially from places like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago – which he said “enabled the business to take customers that we have Will not done.”

The influx proved problematic at the spring break, when police officers in riot gear used pepper bullets to enforce an emergency curfew and made revelations that ignored social disturbances and masked regulations.

During the weekend of March 28 to April 3, Miami “saw its highest level since the onset of the epidemic, with most hotels reporting above the 75 percent occupancy level,” Suzy, a spokeswoman for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Sponder said. . There is only a 6.6 percent drop from the same weekend in 2019.

Ms. Sponder said the average rate for the weekend was $ 25.29 from 2019. Mr. Rogers of the American Hotel and Lodging Association said revenue, which is still down across the board, is the best indicator of the industry’s recovery, noting that Miami’s strong numbers are the exception rather than the rule.

In the tourism industry, “you still have a lot of people who are out of work” just isn’t working. Where most job losses are happening. “

According to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, in Los Angeles, hotel occupancy has steadily increased over the week since the beginning of the year.

Jamie Simpson, vice president of global communications for the board, wrote in an email on Monday, “Our weekend has been up 70+ percent for the last two weekends.” The number held steady over the Easter weekend, with an average occupancy of 70.4 percent. This is the highest since last March before the onset of the epidemic.

Ms Simpson said the board projected a 35 percent increase in 2021 in 2020, but it is not expected to reach 2019 levels by 2024.

Nevertheless, as more business is reopening, the board is starting to market to domestic visitors. Museums have begun to reopen in the city, as are theme parks and outdoor live events. (Disneyland, in nearby Anaheim, is scheduled to reopen in late April.)

“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for the restaurant industry, but LA has seen a bubble of new restaurants open recently,” Ms. Simpson said.

In Las Vegas, many hotels have a lot of reopening, including resume pool parties.

“If you’re in Vegas and try to go to a pool, it’s not easy,” said Derek Stevens, owner and chief operating officer Circa Resort & Casino. “It’s like trying to book a dinner reservation on New Year’s Eve. This is not something you do a day before. “Spots in the pool at its establishments, which include two other hotels, are booked a month in advance due to lower capacity limits and social disturbances, which they said is a demand for leisure travel. Hotels and other locations in the city are up 50 percent. Are limited to.

Although Easter weekend is historic, the second slowest weekend in the city, March Madness this year was different due to the annual NCAA basketball tournament. “Everything was packed at a restricted capacity level,” he said. “On Saturday, all our locations were filled by 10 am due to the last four. I think it was like that all over Las Vegas. “

Mr. Stevens said that since the Super Bowl, in February, there have been signs that the tourism industry in Vegas is recovering, noting that three of his hotels have sold out every weekend. “I have not seen bookings at the rate of what I have seen in the last three months. This is the strongest booking I’ve ever experienced, “he said.

But weekdays also continue to decline due to lack of conferences or conferences. “What we are seeing is a huge demand for leisure travel, while it is going to take place throughout the summer, it does not mean that business travel will follow suit,” he said.

Although New Orleans promoted Spring Break, Passover and Easter, it still has a long way to go “before the full recovery of our $ 10-billion hospitality industry”, Senior Vice President of New Orleans and Communications Kelly Schultz said. company

Hotel occupancy has been inconsistent between January and March, with 20 percent to 49 percent and in some cases up to 90 percent on major weekends in the French Quarter.

Last week, hotels were up to more than 68 percent occupancy, according to STR, a global hospitality data and analytics company.

“New Orleans has one of the lowest covid-positivity rates in Louisiana and among the highest vaccination rates,” Ms. Schulze said. She hopes, “With the easing of restrictions, including the return of live music, there is another sign that brighter days are ahead.”

People appear to be planning a future trip with 60 percent of the traveling public NewOrleans.com Is planning a trip in the next three months. Ms. Schulz notes that she is “optimistic about the fourth quarter of 2021 with a conference and festival schedule.”

Although the summer holiday travel industry is expected to remain intact, Mr Rogers said that business travel would need to be withdrawn to restore the industry to 2019 levels.

“When we’re optimistic, the thing we’re afraid of and worried about is what happens after Labor Day? They said. Business trip, they said,” If we’re going to survive this Is absolutely necessary. “

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