Report: Boston’s hotel market among the country’s most depressed

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Boston hotels are in economic depression after suffering the second-largest financial losses from COVID-19 among major U.S. markets, according to a new report from the industry group.

In May 2021, the last full month in which Massachusetts implemented a state of emergency, Boston hotels generated a third of revenue per available room compared to two years earlier, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

The association, which has long warned of the pandemic’s devastation on the hospitality industry and called for additional federal funding, found that seven of the top 25 US hotel markets, including Boston, remained in what it considered a depression in May. 14 other markets are in recession, the organization said.

According to AHLA, revenue per available room for Boston hotels fell from $ 184 in May 2019 to $ 61 in May 2021, a 67% drop exceeded only by the 70% drop in San Francisco.

“As some industries begin to rebound as COVID-19 restrictions ease across the country, the US hospitality industry is still in recession, with markets hardest hit, including Boston, in depression,” the US hospitality industry said. AHLA President Chip Rogers in a statement. declaration.

Nationally, AHLA estimated that disposable revenue per room was 22% lower in May 2021 compared to May 2019.

Employment in Massachusetts’ leisure and hospitality industry fell from 383,300 in February 2020 to 158,000 in April 2020, representing a loss of more than 58% of jobs, according to state data on employment. The outlook has picked up month-to-month since then, but the 281,400 leisure and hospitality jobs in May 2021 were still more than 100,000 behind pre-pandemic levels.

In the minutes of the May town hall meeting, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority estimated that more than 500,000 room nights across city-wide sales halls were canceled between March 2020 and December 2020, and a further 334,000 were canceled for 2021.

As public activity has rebounded in recent months, the association said it does not expect business travel – a major driver for the hospitality industry – to return to 2019 levels “until at least 2023 or so. 2024 ”.

Rogers said the $ 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act called on state and local governments to devote a portion of their relief funds to the hospitality industry, but called on Congress to direct funds additional directly to hotels.

“While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal assistance, the hospitality industry has not,” said Rogers. “We need Congress to pass the bipartisan Save Hotel Jobs Act so that hotels in hardest hit areas, especially urban markets, can retain and rehire their employees until demand for travel, especially business travel, return to pre-pandemic levels. “

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