Hotels in and around Orlando, Fla., will see 2021 revenues from business travelers 81.5 percent below 2019’s, a loss of $2.27 billion and 44,000 jobs, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
Miami’s lodging industry will be down 62.6 percent in business travel, with revenue from that customer base falling $830 million from pre-COVID levels, the AHLA said.
Statewide, Florida hotels will be out $5.3 billion worth of business travel revenue this year, contributing to a national shortfall of $59 billion and 500,000 hospitality workers still without jobs, compared to 2019, the association noted.
U.S. hotels were down $49 billion in business travel revenue last year, according to AHLA figures, a plight we noted in “Hotel Industry Suffering from COVID Wars” (12 Oct 2021).
The estimate follows an AHLA survey showing businesses postponing or canceling planned travel as the Delta virus remains widely active across the country. 
Business travel is the hotel industry’s largest source of revenue and accounts for all the profits of many large urban hotels. The industry does not expect to regain pre-COVID numbers of business guests until 2024, the AHLA said.
For every 10 people working at a hotel, 26 jobs are created in nearby restaurants, entertainment venues, retail shops, and other businesses, the AHLA said, indicating that the loss of business travel has cost 1.3 million non-hotel jobs.
The hotel industry has yet to receive direct federal aid during the COVID War.
For months, the industry has been pressing Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act, which would pay three months of payroll costs for hotels that show at least a 40-percent loss of business during 2020.
TREND FORECAST: The hotel industry will not return to steady pre-COVID numbers of business guests in 2024. And should Green Vax Passports remain mandatory, it will never return to pre-COVID War leisure or business travel occupancy levels. 
Sixteen months ago, in “Travel and Tourism: Crashing” (21 Jul 2020), we forecast today’s situation: corporations have permanently reduced business travel, costing airlines and hotels their key profit center.
Our foresight has since been confirmed in stories such as “Europe’s Banks Permanently Slash Business Travel” (4 May 2021) and “HSBC Endorses Remote Work Model, Slashes Travel Budget” (14 Sep 2021).
Business travel is a cousin to the commuter economy. When commuters stopped commuting in 2020 and since, not only commuter trains and office landlords suffered, but the entire web of businesses depending on those people showing up regularly frayed, sometimes to the breaking point.
The same is true of business travelers. When they put away their frequent-flyer passes, not only hotels and rental car companies paid the price; so did restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues near hotels and airports.
That ecosystem is headed for continued contraction. In the age of Zoom and tight corporate budgets, many hotels and other enterprises dependent on corporate road warriors to turn a profit will close, while some will find ways to reinvent themselves as affordable housing complexes, university buildings, or medical centers, among other uses.

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