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 of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, a trade organization for the hospitality industry, said that prior to last weekend, the recovery was “very regionalized”, with good and “cities” in places like Florida and Texas. It struggles to overcome big meetings and conferences like Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas.
“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 that there is a lag in the booking at the end of the week. Still, he said, there is a reason for “cautious optimism”.
But travelers, even those who are fully vaccinated, should exercise caution when visiting some states, health experts warn. Case numbers are increasing in some popular destinations, such as Florida, which saw a spike in the form of a swarm of revelers during spring break. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends 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
New York City survived last weekend as many businesses and industries closed due to an epidemic that resumed on April 1, including sports and concerts, as well as some hotels and sightseeing . These reprints, along with the hot weather and increasing rates of vaccinations, appear 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 is probably the best port for tourist activity in the city, according to the Times Square Alliance, which has by far the highest walking count this year, at around 150,000 per day, which tracks activity in the area . 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, Greg Galli, who owns Miami Miami, a restaurant in Miami Beach, many have traveled from outside the state for extended stays – especially from places like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago – which he said That “has enabled business” to take customers that we do not have. “
The influx proved problematic at the spring break, when police officers in riot gear used pepper balls 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 75 percent occupancy levels,” 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 room rate for the weekend was $ 25.29 from 2019, and Mr. Rogers of the American Hotel and Lodging Association said that revenue, which is still down across the board, is the best indicator of the industry’s recovery, given 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 in 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 over the last two weekends.” The number held steady over the Easter weekend, with an average of 70.4 percent. This is the highest since last March before the onset of the epidemic.
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Ms Simpson said the board is expecting a 35 percent increase in 2021 in 2020, but 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 have 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 recently seen a bubble of hot new restaurants,” Ms. Simpson said.
In Las Vegas, many hotels have a lot to reopen, including resume pool parties.
“If you’re in Vegas and trying to get in a pool, it’s not easy,” said Derek Stevens, owner and chief operating officer of Circa Resort & Casino. “It’s like trying to book a dinner reservation on New Year’s Eve. This is not something that you do on the first day. “Spots in the pool at their establishments, including two other hotels, are booked a month in advance due to low capacity limits and social disturbances, which they said is a demand for leisure travel. Hotels and other places in the city are limited to 50 percent.
Although Easter weekend is historic, the second slowest weekend in the city, March Madak, 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 it continues to decline during the workday due to lack of conferences or conferences. “What we are seeing is a huge demand for leisure travel, while it is going to happen throughout the summer, not necessarily business travel will follow suit,” he said.
Although New Orleans promoted Spring Break, Passover and Easter, there is a long way to go “before the full recovery of our $ 10-billion hospitality industry,” Kelly, senior vice president of communications at New Orleans Schultz said, the 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 weekend, 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 Hopefully, “with the easing of restrictions, including the return of live music, is another sign that brighter days are ahead.”
With 60 percent of people visiting NewOrleans.com planning a trip over the next three months, people appear to be planning a future trip. Ms. Schulz said she is “optimistic about the fourth quarter of 2021 with a conference and festival schedule.”
Although the leisure travel industry is expected to sustain in the summer, 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? He said. Business trip, he said,” If we’re going to survive it’s absolutely Is necessary.”
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