U.S. hotel leisure travel revenue is projected to end 2022 at 14 percent above 2019 levels, while hotel business travel revenue is expected to come within one percent of 2019 levels, according to a new analysis released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs.
The projections are not adjusted for inflation, and real hotel revenue recovery will likely take several more years.
Post-pandemic recovery remains uneven, particularly in many major cities and destinations where business travel continues to lag. Among the top 50 U.S. markets, 80 percent are projected to see hotel leisure travel revenue exceed 2019 levels, but just 40 percent are expected reach that milestone for business travel revenue. Many urban markets, which rely heavily on business from events and group meetings, are still on the road to recovery.
The uptick in revenue is leading to historic career opportunities for hotel employees, with more than 115,000 hotel jobs currently open across the nation. Hotels are offering potential hires a host of incentives to fill vacancies — 81 percent have increased wages, 64% are offering greater flexibility with hours, and 35 percent have expanded benefits, according to a September 2022 AHLA member survey.